“Since Penelope Noakes of Duppas Hill is gone, there is no one who will ever call me Nellie again.”
– an old lady, First and Last Things by Richard Hoggart, p. 234. The statement is attributed to W.H. Auden by poet Alfred Corn in his book, Autobiographies
“There was a day in time when the last eyes to see Christ were closed forever. The battle of Junín and the love of Helen died with the death of some one man. What will die with me when I die? What pathetic or frail form will the world lose? Perhaps the voice of Macedonio Fernandez, the image of a horse in the vacant space at Serrano and Charcas, a bar of sulfur in the drawer of a mahogany desk?”
– Jorge Luis Borges, The Witness
“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.” ~ Alice Walker
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
– The Revelation of John, ch.21
Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘fear’; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death – in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.
– Opening line from a Bad Novel Writing contest
It was autumn, the springtime of death. Rain spattered the rotting leaves, and a wild wind wailed. Death was singing in the shower. Death was happy to be alive.
– Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker, p.16
I’m very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.
– Woody Allen
Death is a personal matter, arousing sorrow, despair, fervor or dry-hearted philosophy. Funerals, on the other hand, are social functions. Imagine going to a funeral without first polishing the automobile. Imagine standing at a graveside not dressed in your best, dark suit and your best black shoes, polished delightfully. Imagine sending flowers to a funeral with no attached card to prove that you had done the correct thing. In no social institution is the codified ritual of behavior more rigid than in funerals.
– From Chapter XVI of Tortilla Flat, by John Steinbeck (1935)
“When Death snatches your friend you walk into the darkness a little, calling his name, waiting to hear his voice in answer. It is a lonely and quiet time.”
– Roy H. Williams, October 29, 2011, 5 days after the death of Woody Justice