So you can read my books

Sunday, March 3, 2013


We all will write or say them:


One day we will pen our last post.

Most likely, we will not know it is our last post, our last thoughts
broadcast to the worldwide net.

What will they say of us?  The last novel we have written --

what will it say of who we were,
what we thought, and what we thought important?

The same goes for our last short story or to the last words we spoke before we got into the car on our way to meet that trucker asleep at the wheel.

Those words may have more import than all the others we have spoken or written and tell the'
world accurately or not who we were.

Sigmund Freud is reported to have said, "This is absurd, this is absurd."

Robert Kennedy: "Is everyone else all right?"

Two men, two different kinds of sentences all together.

Of course there are contesting versions of some people. 

Take Alexander the Great - goodness knows he took enough
for himself:

Alexander is reported to have said, "To the strongest."

     When asked on his deathbed who was to succeed him,
      his voice may have been indistinct.

     Alexander may have said "Krateros" (the name of one
     of his generals),
     but he was not around, and the others may have chosen
     to hear "Kratistos— the strongest".

Freud's last words have also been reported to have been:
 "Tell Anna of our talk."

     Anna was Freud's daughter. Freud had been in agony
     for some months due to oral cancer
     and had previously discussed with his physician that
     he wished to be euthanized
     rather than endure prolonged suffering.

Marta Hari: "Everything is an illusion."
     Spoken to a visitor before she faced a firing squad.
    The words reflect the Eastern mysticism which had
    long fascinated her.

Here are some other last words:

Only you have ever understood me. … And you got it wrong..
Goodnight my kitten.
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
  • Who: Crowfoot. His last beautiful words, 1890.
Now I can cross the Shifting Sands.
           Note: Baum was referring to the Shifting Sands,
           the impassable desert
           surrounding the Land of Oz.

Am I dying, or is this my birthday?
  • Who: Lady Nancy Astor
  • Note: In her final illness, she awoke on her deathbed to see her family at her bedside.
Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l'ai pas fait exprès.
  • Translation: Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.
  • Who: Marie Antoinette
  • Note: As she approached the guillotine, convicted of treason and about to be beheaded, she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner.
No, you certainly can't.
  • Who: John F. Kennedy
  • context: This was said in reply to Nellie Connally, wife of Governor John Connelly, commenting "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome, Mr. President."
  • He was assassinated moments later.
The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something, that is not of this earth.

My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.
  • Who: Oscar Wilde
  • Variation: These curtains are killing me, one of us has got to go.
  • Popular variation often found in "Famous Last Words"-lists: "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
That guy's got to stop… He'll see us.
  • Who: James Dean
  • Note: Words said before dying in a car accident.
What will your last words of tongue or pen be?  What would you want them to be? 

Look back at the last sentence in your last post. 

Is that what you would want them to be?


  1. A very thought provoking post, Roland.

  2. Thanks, Suzanne:
    It just hit me that we often take the important people and things in our lives for granted, thinking they will go on for months or years. Not so. Thank you again, Roland

  3. I don't think about death, so I just try to make my words all mean something.
    My last post asked about what would be in your future box. Not bad I guess.
    What might be the last book I write ends with... well, can't tell you that, but it's really touching.
    And my last words to my wife WILL be that I love her, as I'm planning on us dying immediately after sex at a really old age. (You have to put in reservations for that early you know!)

  4. Alex:
    The business I'm in, I think about death all too often -- usually that of premature babies struggling for the next breath to whom I am racing rare blood.

    I'm thinking your last book ends with a death scene from the sounds of it. Those are emotionally draining to write!

    To die while in the arms of the one you love is not a bad way to go -- although if she survives, it will be pretty much freak her out!

    "I love you like my last breath -- oh, this was exactly that!"

    Laughter and love are our best companions on this mortal journey of ours. :-)

  5. Death is something everyone should experience at least once before they die. It takes away the mystery and fear, and gives a new appreciation of life.

    I'm glad I came out of my coma because my last words would otherwise have been 'I'm not f*****g about' rather ignominious for an epitaph.

    My favourite was the Union general (whose name escapes me) when facing Confederate troops stated 'They couldn't hit an elephant from that dist-'

  6. Yes, I almost put those last words in my post, but I thought James Dean's might save a life or two!

  7. Incredibly deep post. I never really think that some words will be my last, but now it's on my mind. I think I'll go tell my boy I love him once more before he falls asleep.

  8. I've thought about this before too - what will my last words be? What will my last blog post be? Sort of morbid and yet interesting to think about!

  9. Christine:
    Some inner voice urged me to write this post today. Perhaps a person or two needed to read it. Perhaps I did. :-) Roland

  10. Some inspiring last words Roland. As you say, we may not know when we're uttering/writing them.

  11. Denise:
    Let's hope these weren't truly my last words! But it is a thing to keep in mind these unstable days. :-)

  12. Great post, Roland. Honestly, I've never given the topic much thought until reading what you had to say. I love Mozart's last words. They gave me chills, but in a good way. After my body is old and used up, I can't think of anything more exciting than leaving this world and moving on to the next. Of course, it may not happen that way. I could go tomorrow, so I'll try to put more thought into my last words. :)

  13. Thanks, Celeste:
    Weren't Mozart's last words chilling and evocative? I can imagine the citizens of Pompeii thought next week and next year would be theirs, too.

    Words ... they convey who we are and heal or hurt. Actions, too. May our last actions be healing. Great comment, Celeste -- Roland

  14. Missed this post, Roland, so busy this weekend. So, a late comment.

    Nice collection of last words. I like to think Oscar W. would have been witty, and I liked Marta Hari and Robt. Kennedy's words.

    Possible last words from me: "I'll be back again." In another life, natch. On the other hand, how much I'd say would depend on why I was croaking and how. Sometimes there's no time.

  15. D.G.:
    Yes, so often when the time comes, we have no second to spare to speak so whatever were our last words spoken are our last words.

    I think of that when my angers burns and harsh words are about to come out. I then ask myself: would you want these to be the last words you spoke or to be remembered by the person you're speaking to?

    I usually hold my tongue. Usually. :-)

    I pray your busy weekend was at least fun!

  16. A bit too much information from Alex (above). Forgotten what I was going to say now ...

  17. Wendy:
    I'll wonder tonight what you would've said. :-) Darn that Alex!