Famous Last Words

In last Saturday’s week-end Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan wrote a beautiful little piece on the last words that were captured on answering machines or voice mails by the victims of the 9-11 disaster, as they called their loved ones, when the tragedy was unfolding. (She relates that, never before have we had such a complete record of what people say when they are confronted with their own immanent mortality).

Peggy relates in the article that there was not one message of hatred, not one message of “I can’t stand you”…not one message of “You never paid me the alimony”…not one message of “I’ll never forgive you for what you did.”

When these people were at death’s door and life was stripped down to its bare essentials, they invariably expressed their love for whomever they called. They asked for forgiveness for what they might have done. They forgave others for any transgressions that they may have caused…and, they asked the silent voices on the other end of the line to pray for them, for, as one person reputedly said, “I haven’t been very good”.

Isn’t that how we should act…isn’t that what we should say…throughout our lives, and not just at the end, particularly since we don’t know when our “end” is coming, like these people did?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *