What words would you choose to utter if you knew they would be the final words you spoke in this mortal realm?
Novelist Victor Hugo declared “I see black light,” which isn’t exactly encouraging. Thomas Edison, on the other hand, reported: “It is very beautiful over there,” which I suppose balances out Hugo’s dark vision.
The very first Queen Elizabeth probably had a whole bunch of castles and crowns and ermine capes and….well, you know the stuff queens own. Nevertheless, she tried to cut this deal when her time came in the early 1600s: “All my possessions for a moment of time.”
Good attitude, right? But then along comes the film producer Louis B. Mayer, who on his deathbed declared, “Nothing matters. Nothing matters.” Let’s add James Joyce to this gloomy mix. The great writer died with this question apparently unanswered: “Does nobody understand?” And, OK, we might has well mix some doom into the gloom…Edgar Allan Poe’s final plea: “Lord help my poor soul.”
Whew. Time for something a little lighter.
The great Henry David Thoreau probably had something profound to say when he heard the Grim Reaper’s knock? Nope. Henry’s last utterance: “Moose…Indian…”
I like poet Emily Dickinson’s farewell: “I must go in, the fog is rising” spake Amherst’s belle in 1886.
But this may be my favorite. President James K. Polk, when he died in 1849, told first lady Sarah Polk: “I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you.”
That’s what I want — I want my heart’s true fulfillment right there by my side, close enough for her to hear me whisper those three perfect words: “I love you.”