Jane Yolen’s husband…

Jane Yolen's husband David just died; I didn't know him, and don't really know her, but I'm sad for them. She quotes in her journal from an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem, "Dirge Without Music":

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave,
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Which reminded me of how much I love Millay's writing, and also echoed my own feelings on this subject. It's odd, because Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," on the death of his father, is in some ways on a similar theme, but it's never resonated in the same way for me.
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.
I think the difference is that in the Thomas, the author wants the person dying to resist, to fight, to rage against their own death. And I have not yet been afraid of dying myself; I would hope for myself, rather, to go gently, quietly, as Millay has it. But like Millay, and Yolen, it is the death of others that terrifies and angers me. The thought of losing Kevin, though I know the odds are good that it will someday happen -- one of us has to go first, after all, and it's usually the man -- is hard to encompass. It's something that I don't know how I will bear. Sometimes I can't even think about it, and Millay becomes too hard to read.

They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all roses in the world.

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