Laurie Anderson on Lou Reed's death: "We had prepared for this"

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's widow writes about the love they shared


Prachi Gupta
November 6, 2013 11:20PM (UTC)

Laurie Anderson's touching obituary to her husband and best friend, rock legend Lou Reed, gave a rare, intimate glimpse into the special relationship the two shared before Reed died at the age of 70 on Oct. 27. In an essay in Rolling Stone, Anderson has expanded on the obituary, retelling the story about how the two met, fell in love and became true life partners:

Lou and I played music together, became best friends and then soul mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other's work, studied things together (butterfly hunting, meditation, kayaking). We made up ridiculous jokes; stopped smoking 20 times; fought; learned to hold our breath underwater; went to Africa; sang opera in elevators; made friends with unlikely people; followed each other on tour when we could; got a sweet piano-playing dog; shared a house that was separate from our own places; protected and loved each other. We were always seeing a lot of art and music and plays and shows, and I watched as he loved and appreciated other artists and musicians. He was always so generous. He knew how hard it was to do. We loved our life in the West Village and our friends; and in all, we did the best we could do.

Anderson was by Reed's side at the time of his death, and shared her memory of the rocker's final, peaceful moment:

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As meditators, we had prepared for this – how to move the energy up from the belly and into the heart and out through the head. I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou's as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn't afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.

At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Laurie Anderson Lou Reed Love Marriage Music Obituary Relationships Rock And Roll

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