We woke this morning to the sad news that Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen has died aged 82.
"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away" read the statement on the musician’s official Facebook page.
While inevitably this will be seen as yet another sign that 2016 has been the most crushing year ever, Cohen – ever the philosopher – had himself been reflecting on his own mortality in recent months, seemingly aware that he was not long for this world.
In fact, in July of this year, he penned a letter to his muse and lover, Marianne Ihlen, after learning she was dying. The letter, read:
“Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.
“And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.”
The pair met on the Greek island of Hyde in the Sixties and became lovers. Ihlen was immortalized in So Long, Marianne.