Many inquiries have been leveled at the absence of my father, Dyson Douglas McIllwain, here on his “wordplace” (as he called it) and the many generous web logs to which he had contributed. All noble questions which I had not the strength nor courage to answer. Da loved words as much as he loved to travel, spreading his might and muse every step of the way. He had fallen hard due to the passing of his cousin and true friend, Iain, two Novembers past. Sadly, he had taken to toasting the occasion a wee bit too frequently and smoking excessively, abusing his emphysema riddled body to extremes.
He had been writing to the very end, fearful that his beloved words would stop before he did. He expressed this well (I think) in the final poem of his scribblings. Father has passed from all of his afflictions and addictions (including his poetry) on 2 Aug 2012. He is no longer “tethered to the heather” as he liked to say. His pipes lay silent. There are no memorials established, nor did Father want any. All he required was the kindness of words to surround his memory. Think kind thoughts of him often. I miss him most dearly.
These are his last words as written:
IF MY WORDS SHOULD DIE by Dyson Douglas McIllwain
If my words should die afore me,
t’would be the cruelest thing
to ne’er hear their tender voice,
nor hear their fervent ring.
Silence would befall my heart
afore death gathers in,
and as my poor soul shall depart
would leave not clamour, nor din.
The soul from which compassion comes
would wither then and cease,
a muse no longer to express
of heart and mind deceased.
If my words should die afore me
my memory will fade,
the spears and arrows of my fate
will be the price so paid.
But shall I pass afore my words,
then in them I shall live,
for they will speak my final say
and comfort they will give.
They will live as they had lived in me,
much life to give within their breath,
and I am sure I will be remembered
well then after death.