Wow. He did it. He did dying just as he did living.
He faced his mortality with a steadfast gaze, as well as his trademark wit, humour, and incessant curiosity. His real most deep-seated fear was of losing his ability to express himself, of not being able to talk or to write.
He does still get the last word. I love that this book comes out posthumously. It's as if he is talking to us right now: "And another thing!"
His wife Carol Blue wrote a moving afterword in which she described their 'new world', that world which lasted for nineteen months until the end. Of the day of his 'presentation', in which the tumour declared itself, she describes their transition: "We were living in two worlds. The old one, which never seemed more beautiful, had not yet vanished; and the new one, about which we knew little except to fear it, had not yet arrived."
This reminds me of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's terrific book [b:Cancer Ward|254316|Cancer Ward|Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328028751s/254316.jpg|3202343], in which Time and Memory were classed as "before cancer" and "after cancer".
What I admire most is his perseverance to his craft. Writing really was his reason for living. The way he did his last 19 months, and this book, was about as good a goodbye as anyone could ever hope for for themselves.
A toast to a life well lived and well written, and to this most fitting finale.