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The death of Roger Ebert as told by Chaz Ebert
......but as we realized he was transitioning out of this world and into the next, everything, all of us, just went calm. They turned off the machines, and the room was so peaceful. I put on his music that he liked, Dave Brubeck. We just sat there on the bed together, and I whispered in his ear. I didn't want to leave him. I sat there with him for hours, just holding his hand.
Roger looked beautiful. He looked really beautiful. I don't know how to describe it, but he looked peaceful, and he looked young.
The one thing people might be surprised about—Roger said that he didn't know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: "This is all an elaborate hoax." I asked him, "What's a hoax?" And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can't even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once.
It's hard to put it into words. I just loved him. I loved him so much, I think I thought he was invincible. To tell you the truth, I'm still waiting for things to unfold.
Thanks also to Pat Benatar, Willy Wonka, and William Butler Yeats.
released December 24, 2016
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