Read Chaz Ebert's Poetic Account of Roger's Final Moments
By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 28, 2013 6:45PM
Roger Ebert with wife Chaz in 2001 (Photo credit: Art Shay, used with permission.)
Chicago mourned the loss of one of its chief cultural icons, the film critic, essayist, and social media bon vivant Roger Ebert, in 2013. Ebert died in April one day after announcing that he was taking a "leave of presence" from the Sun-Times.
In the wake of his death, wife Chaz Ebert, a former local civil rights attorney who is also the president of Ebert Productions and the vice president of The Ebert Company, has been working as the publisher of RogerEbert.com, where she also blogs.
[Her most recent update was on what films Roger might pick to win at the next Oscar ceremony. Recall that his last film review was a three-and-a-half star review of Terrance Malick's otherwise panned To The Wonder.]
In October, Chaz posted a reflection of Roger on the six-month anniversary of his passing. On Christmas Eve, just in time for holidays of gratitude and remembrance, Esquire posted an interview Chaz Ebert did with Chris Jones, the reporter who famously wrote about Roger Ebert in 2010.
Chaz Ebert's poetic account of Roger's peaceful final moments will have you missing the man all over again. Here is but a brief excerpt:
He was sitting on his bed, and he looked really happy to be going home. He was smiling. He was sitting almost like Buddha, and then he just put his head down. We thought he was meditating, maybe reflecting on his experiences, grateful to be going home. I don't remember who noticed first, who checked his pulse . In the beginning, of course, I was totally freaked out. There was some kind of code thing, and they brought machines in. I was stunned. But as we realized he was transitioning out of this world and into the next, everything, all of us, just went calm. ...
I didn't want to leave him. I sat there with him for hours, just holding his hand.
There's much more, and you should read the whole thing here. As a humble addendum, here's Chicagoist's own remembrance of Roger Ebert.
In other Ebert news, the crowdfunded post-production of the documentary about him, Life Itself, has reached almost $105,000 of its $150,000 goal, with 17 days left to go.