Paralyzed after severe post-polio syndrome and a damaging fall, confined to his bed and under 24-hour hospice care since June, Wilson left a farewell message on January 6:
Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.In October, when various online appeals generated enough funds to pay his health care costs, he wrote this:
Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.
Dear Friends, my God, what can I say. I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted, and totally stunned by the charity and compassion that has poured in here the last three days.That he was beloved is true. Additionally, the last sentence is true. Perhaps we would do well to not forget that.
To steal from Jack Benny, "I do not deserve this, but I also have severe leg problems and I don't deserve them either."
Because he was a kind man as well as a funny one, Benny was beloved. I find it hard to believe that I am equally beloved and especially that I deserve such love.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, know that my love is with you.
You have all reminded me that despite George W. Bush and all his cohorts, there is still a lot of beautiful kindness in the world.