And at the End, All the Comforts of the Carlyle

Good fiction is open to interpretation. Great fiction inspires interpretation.

I did not think obituaries could also inspire such things, until I read this one in the  NYTimes.com. It starts:

Marie-Dennett McDill loved the Carlyle Hotel.

She stayed there whenever she was in New York, and adored the regular entertainers like Bobby Short and Eartha Kitt at the Café Carlyle, and the pianist Loston Harris in the lively Bemelmans Bar. She loved the uniformed elevator men and bellmen and the family of longtime staff. She loved that Central Park was only a short block away.

So when Mrs. McDill, who grew up in society in Washington and was enjoying an outdoors life in South Woodstock, Vt., learned she had terminal cancer this summer, her family immediately booked her a suite on the eighth floor for an open-ended stay, but one they sadly knew would not be open-ended enough.

The entire obituary reads like a synopsis of an great fictional story, but it is true. I’ve read it a number of times, and everytime that I have, I have reflected upon it in different ways.

Try reading it, then reading again some time later.

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