So much thinking about death these days, yet I rarely think about my own. Maybe it’s the silence in this room tonight or a certain quality of the light, but thinking about my own ending unexpectedly brought to mind an incident in Rome four years ago.

An elderly man collapsed against the base of a Bernini. There was the slap and shudder of a body hitting the floor, followed by the split-second of shocked silence after a medical event. We gathered around him, not knowing how to help yet needing to bear witness. I did not know the Italian number for 911. His wife sat on the floor and cradled his head; the authorities arrived quickly. He was breathing and nodding as we drifted away to give them privacy. And I remember thinking that if it’s necessary to leave this world, dying in the arms of someone I love at the foot of a Bernini might be the best possible place.

Claro Intelecto – Beautiful Death

Metanarrative | Modern Love, 2008 | More