Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Last words

I have always enjoyed reading the exit lines, great and otherwise, of the great and not-so-great, of those who seem ready for a new adventure and for those who resist or persist in their old ways to the dying breath, of those who welcome death, and those who fear or deny it. Last words are often not the most felicitous, but as Walt Whitman observed, “they are valuable beyond measure to confirm and endorse the varied train, facts, theories and faith of the whole preceding life.”


Here’s a selection of my favorites:

Where is my clock? – Salvador Dali

I’m bored with it all. – Winston Churchill (before slipping into a coma; he died nine days later)

I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies. I think that’s the record. – Dylan Thomas

I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. – Errol Flynn

Dammit. Don’t you dare ask God to help me. – Joan Crawford

Friends applaud, the comedy is finished. – Beethoven

I want you to tell me the truth. Did Ernest [Hemingway] really like me? – Dorothy Parker

It has all been very interesting. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

More light. – Goethe

This is funny. – Doc Holliday, gunfighter and gambler.


A dying man can do nothing easy. – Benjamin Franklin

I scorn to answer you such a question. – Queen Elizabeth I (on being asked by Sir Robert Cecil on her deathbed if she had seen spirits)

And in my dream an angel with white wings came to me, smiling. – Gauguin (last notes)

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six. – Tolstoy (on being urged on his deathbed to return to the Russian Orthodox church)

I can’t sleep. – James M. Barrie.

I see black light. – Victor Hugo.

Get my swan costume ready. – Anna Pavlova

Farewell, my friends. I go to glory! – Isadora Duncan,

This is no time to make new enemies. – Voltaire

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. – George Bernard Shaw


My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go. – Oscar Wilde

I must go in. The fog is rising. – Emily Dickinson.

Try to give back the divine in you to the divine in all. – Plotinus

Turn up the lights. I don’t want to go home in the dark. – O.Henry

Oh shit. – last words on a majority of flight recorders recovered after plane crashes.

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow. – Steve Jobs


Do you have a personal favorite that isn’t here? Please feel free to share in the Comments. If you could rehearse your own last words, what would they be?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Thomas

    This may or may not be accurate but either way I like the story of John Lennon’s last words. After being shot and driven to the hospital by police one of the officers turns around, “Hey, aren’t you John Lennon?”

    Last words: “Yes, I am.”

  • Savannah

    “The greatest performance is one without the performer.” – an actor friend who passed a few months ago and lived a grand performance without ever taking himself too seriously. Not so famous words that hung around as they were repeated in print amongst other ways at a memorial celebration in December. Arriving back home and not wanting to lose the postcard among random piles of other papers, I slipped it into your Dreamer’s Book of the Dead.

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