My friend David sent me this passage from Laurie Anderson, upon her husband Lou Reed’s death:
“I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love. At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace.
I’m sure he will come to me in my dreams and will seem to be alive again. And I am suddenly standing here by myself stunned and grateful. How strange, exciting and miraculous that we can change each other so much, love each other so much through our words and music and our real lives.”
“Life — so beautiful, painful and dazzling.”
While I wish the death experience were so lovely and peaceful for everyone, I know first-hand that it is not. Nonetheless, I am glad it was lovely and peaceful for Lou Reed and that Laurie Anderson was kind enough to share that experience with us. Powerful words and moving sentiment to carry into the weekend.