When news broke last night that acclaimed filmmaker/writer/journalist/foodie/feminist Nora Ephron had passed away at the age of 71, the general consensus was shock, dismay, and above all, sadness. It's hard to wrap our heads around the idea that the mastermind behind Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and so many other iconic books, plays, and films is no longer with us. It seemed so out of the blue.
But now we have proof that Ephron seemingly knew her time was coming quite a while back. In her most recent book, I Remember Nothing, published in November 2010, she ended her collection of essays with what could be considered clues about her death for her fans.
The collection of essays ends with two tellingly titled lists: "What I Won't Miss" (like "Bad dinners like the one we went to last night," "E-mail," and "Fox") and "What I Will Miss" (including "Reading in bed," "Laughs," and "Pie"). Then, in the acknowledgments, she concluded with "and of course, my doctors." At the time of the book's release, no one thought anything of it. Maybe the critics and readers simply thought, "Well, even people who are much younger and healthier make bucket lists and lists about things they're grateful for all the time!" But it's pretty clear now that she was saying goodbye. So, so sad.
And yet, at the same time, this "wink, wink" legacy serves as a comforting message to fans like me. Not only is it so Nora. Her personality always shone through a bit in her female leads, and can't you totally see You've Got Mail's Kathleen Kelly or Sleepless in Seattle's Annie Reed making similar lists?!
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In some way, knowing that she penned these lists possibly two years before her passing proves that she was well-aware that her time was running out. She acknowledged what a wonderful life she had lived, and she had likely accepted and made peace with death. Somehow, it feels easier to grieve someone who was okay with passing away. Not that she won't still be incredibly missed.
Here's a great little clip of Nora herself discussing her early life, family, and work ...
Do you think these lists were a clue/message for fans? Do they make you feel better about Ephron's passing?
Image via Amazon