Art of Dying Volume One - Page 34

Daniel It’s all a fantasy. “It was one day, I don’t remember the If you want me to tell you what I day right this very second, I was probably believe in, I think I would believe in just feeling, of realizing that I would die one day fantasy. There’s an abyss involved, but I 6 or 7 or 8… but the anguish of thinking, of was overwhelming. I didn’t confide in any- one about this, these feelings. I mean, I just couldn’t. If I would be giving advice to my younger self, I would very simply say, “Not to worry”, that things are much more normal and natural than people make them of. I really think that the big mystery, the big mystery, comes from the moment we about nothing at all. Really truly. It’s all a don’t feel it. The more each day passes I feel less resentful. Resent is not some- thing that is part of what is happening to me. I’m not angry. I feel I don’t criticize the world as I used to. I feel I accept the world as it comes and it goes. And I don’t think it’s that important, the world. I always thought that in the end one are born. Where are we coming from and is afraid of dying, and I may very well be ourselves that is already sealed upon this now, this very minute, I kind of have the how do we form this geometric profile of birth, from way before? Instead dying is much more concrete. eventually. But as far as I can tell you right feeling, the idea that it is not going to be a major event. It’s just going to happen.” Introduced through Hospice by the Bay, Daniel and I met weekly in his room in a high-rise SRO block in San Francisco’s SOMA. A graduate of Harvard University and friends with Spanish royalty, Daniel lost all of his wealth when he was cut out of his father’s business empire and struggled with mental health issues. Now sharing hallways with the city’s most disenfranchised residents, Daniel would still go for caviar and champagne once a week us- ing money from his estranged son. Daniel was adamant that death did not trouble him and that he was simply letting the “gentle flow of a river” carry him towards the end. Several weeks after our interviews were completed, I went to visit him at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco. In floods of tears and wrecked with terror, Daniel held onto me like a child. The next day, on July 22, 2015, Daniel died alone in his room. 34 | ART OF DYING