Thursday, January 18, 2007

ART BUCHWALD, 10/20/25 - 1/17/07


I seldom cry when a celebrity dies. Their lives seem so distant from mine and I have a hard time connecting. But today when I heard of the death of Art Buchwald it felt like I’d lost a family member. Art Buchwald was a great favorite of my husband and mine and we’d often read his column or repeat one of his many humorous quips to each other.

I was saddened in 2005 when I heard how sick Art was. It certainly sounded like he’d been given a death sentence. I watched in fascination and awe as he fought against his disease, which entailed dialysis for a failing kidney. He was put in a Hospice and given a few months to live; but, he decided this was unacceptable and made the decision to go home and let nature take it’s course.

He returned to his home on Martha’s Vineyard, near Cape Cod in Massachusetts and by June 2006 his kidneys started to work on their own without the aid of dialysis. He took this as a sign and decided to go full steam ahead...his “last hurrah”, as he called it.

One of his greatest accomplishments was the memorial service that he held for himself...WITH HIMSELF PRESENT ! His many friends read their eulogies and he critiqued them amid much laughter and a few tears. He also spent those last months writing a book entitled, “Too Soon To Say Goodbye”, chronicling the events of his last days.

Art Buchwald died last night. His humor and his down-to-earth outlook on life will forever be available in his writings...but his gravely voice and distinctive laugh will be greatly missed. He was an inspiration to us all.

Sleep well, Art Buchwald, you deserve only the best.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely tribute to a talented man.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, now I'm crying too. Thank you for this lovely testimonial. He was a real mensch.

Ginnie, there's a movie that you must see -- at least I think it would touch you. The image of a living memorial service made me think of it. The movie is called "Mar Adentro," translated, I think, as "Sea Inside." Blockbuster carries it!

It's about the Spanish man, paraplegic, who fought for his right to die with dignity. I watched it TWICE last night, so beautiful are the themes of life, friendship, meaning, death. I really think you would like it.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Oh GOSH....I had a busy day yesterday and most of today, and I had NO clue he'd died! So thank you so much for this post.
I adored Buchwald and followed his downward slide with his illness. Was so happy to hear he'd rallied. What a great man he was! Do you know if his book is available...the last one he wrote?
I bought his memoir, "I'll Always Have Paris" when I was in Paris many years ago...and I'll always treasure it. Even more now.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Terri: yes, his book is available and can be found in most book stores or on Amazon, etc. I want to read it too.

Caroline: I will see if I can get the movie and thanks for recommending it. I'm sure if you loved it I will too.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched a segment on him on the news last night and thought of you. I had forgotten what an impish, contagious smile he had and how you knew, by the twinkle in his eyes, that he was always finding humor in the ride called life.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Alan G said...

A man who knew the value of a laugh and a smile. I believe that went a ways in substaining his life beyond the predictions of his doctors.

Thanks for the tribute Ginnie...he will be missed.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginnie, I went back and read your post from July. I like your philosphy and appreciate your wisdom. I hope when I have time to go back and read more of your earlier blogs.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What they all said. And one more thing: my dad, whom I wrote about in one of my very first posts, was always a big fan of Buchwald's writing.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

There are so many people who are touched by his passing, so many people who he made laugh. Such power, the written word guided by a kind and intelligent heart.

4:09 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

We should all have memorial services while we can still attend!

7:41 PM  

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