The Good Goodbye Manifesto

A dying wish!

We don’t remember

Nor chose the manner

Of our arrival

For my departure

There may be choice

And whilst I still

Have life to live

I will choose

To use my voice

To those who

I trust will

Let me go

As I must

When that time

Has come

To be in my own bed

And for those who know

Me best who Care for who

I am or perhaps I was

To let me go


Medics over-stretched

Having to count the cost

Watching their backs

Fighting a battle

Already lost

John Daniels ©2017

In many ways the poem sums up the manifesto. It came from learning of the unnecessary ‘traumas’ caused by inappropriate CPR during and after an end of life death. Often this is due to a neurotic risk averse culture, hence the last five lines. The manifesto is designed to help anyone involved or thinking about the issues surrounding death whether their own, someone they are close to or for those who are working in a professional capacity. It is still a taboo subject, for many people and families.

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin

Whilst death holds an immense fascination we, perhaps understandingly, avoid talking about the realities within our friends and family. This makes necessary conversations much harder to deal with as we or a loved one approaches end of life (EOL). Dylan Thomas may have exhorted his father to ‘not go gentle into that good night’, but better that we open the conversation and restore some ‘gentleness’.  

The Manifesto

As far as is possible we desire and expect:

  1. A good goodbye
  2. In a place of our or, depending on the circumstances, our family or carer’s choosing
  3. To have our wishes and our person respected
  4. Not to die alone
  5. The right to be made comfortable
  6. To be treated with gentleness

The manifesto is deliberately uncomplicated because we and the circumstances of our demise are and will be unique. It is for each person or institution involved to strive to satisfy the requirements.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Poem by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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