Leonard Cohen: Love and Dying

An extraordinary piece of news today. It turns out that in the last nine days of his life, Cohen composed yet another album to be released after his demise. All was done with makeshift, rigged studio equipment on the dining table at home. His son, Adam’s description of what his father said and thought during those days is touching.
Since my twenties, Leonard Cohen’s poetry and lyrics and ideas have sustained me both in grief and joy. As far as I can recall, the only time I have wept at someone’s death was upon learning of his. I remember in sharp relief that I was that evening in my Liversidge Street ANU apartment in Canberra.
One major song of his was dedicated to his long, long time Norwegian Muse, Marianne. When advised that she was in her last stages, he wrote to her (letter obtained through the Leonard Cohen estate): “Dearest Marianne, I’m just a little behind you, close enough to take your hand. This old body has given up, just as yours has too, and the eviction notice is on its way any day now.
I’ve never forgotten your love and your beauty. But you know that. I don’t have to say any more. Safe travels old friend. See you down the road. Love and gratitude. Leonard.”
She died aged 81 on 28 July 2016, in Oslo. Cohen died just months later on 7 November 2016.
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