“Don’t Ever Say Goodbye”: White Coat Conversations

“Don’t Ever Say Goodbye”: White Coat Conversations

Frank L. Meyskens, MD

Mar 30, 2015

It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since my second blog. If you’ve been reading along, you know that I recently began a dialogue regarding challenges to the profession of medicine and the delivery of health care.

But, before rejoining that dialogue and journey, I would like to take a brief one-month detour. As many of you know, my first book of poetry, Aching for Tomorrow, examined caregiver and patient interactions and the emotional effect on both, particularly near the end of life. The longest poem was entitled “Don’t Ever Say Goodbye” and attempted to capture some of the emotions felt during the last few days of life on earth. The poem in its entirety is provided below. I often felt that it could be transformed into a song or hymn.

For the last few years, my wife, Linda, and I have come to know some very interesting members of the Orange County musical community. Every Friday evening from 10:30 PM to 12:30 AM, we end the formal workweek by listening to a local jazz jam. Over time, we have made a number of musical friends and had the opportunity to appreciate their unique and special lifestyle.

One thing led to another, and I eventually approached our favorite pianist, Ron Kobayashi, with the idea of transforming “Don’t Ever Say Goodbye” into a song. He enthusiastically undertook the challenge of bringing the words of the poem into musical form. We were joined early on by our favorite and quite wonderful vocalist, Andrea Miller, in this endeavor, since we knew that translating the sentiments of the poem to music would require a special type of talent.

After many months, we were finally ready to record. In a very long and memorable evening in mid-February, we were joined by an exquisite flutist/saxophonist to record our musical version of “Don’t Ever Say Goodbye.” The song is necessarily a shortened representation of the very complex poem and is meant to convey existential hope with a tinge of melancholy as the challenges and opportunities of the last days of physical life are entered. Please feel free to pass on the MP3 to whomever you feel might find these words comforting or meaningful.


Don't ever say goodbye

in the darkness of the night,

wait until the morning comes.


For in the darkest of the night

a meteor will fall,

and in this unfair journey

a light will shine for all.


Don't ever say goodbye

to that one who loves you so.

For it's in the loving

 that the living bears

 the burden of the fall.

Wait until the morning comes.


Wait until the night crosses to the day

when the quiet dawn greets

the breezes of the morn.

And a light will shine for all.


Don't ever say goodbye

before the dawn arrives.

It's not that you have gone away,

and it's not that I’ve learned to live

without you.

It's just too much to say..."forever"

in the darkness of your night.

Wait until the morning comes.


Hope is where you find it

And it's here in me for you.

Take the burden for your

loved one and ride the meteor now.

And in this faithful moment,

a light will shine for all.


Never stop the singing,

    the dancing,

    or the laughter.

For in the darkest of your night

a meteor will fall and in its final, fiery grace,

a light will shine for all.


Don't ever say farewell

Never wish me a goodbye


  au revoir

For it's in your eyes

I see the forever and amour.


Don't ever say goodbye,

in the darkness of your night

For the courage of your hope

brings miracles at dawn.

Wait until the morning comes.



The ideas and opinions expressed on the ASCO Connection Blogs do not necessarily reflect those of ASCO. None of the information posted on ASCOconnection.org is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services. The mention of any product, service, company, therapy or physician practice on ASCOconnection.org does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by ASCO. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in, posted on, or linked to this site, or any errors or omissions.

Back to Top