Since news broke on Thursday night that Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen had passed away at 82, people have been sharing their favorite songs and poems by the artist on social media. One touching tribute that has been making the rounds on social media is not a song, but a letter the artist wrote to his former partner and muse Marianne Ihlen, right before she passed away in July. Ihlen, a Norwegian woman who lived with the artist for a while in the 1960s was the subject of his famous song “So Long, Marianne” and the inspiration behind many others. “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine,” Cohen writes in the letter. “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.” It was posted by the popular Twitter account Letters of Note.
Cohen later received a wonderful reply to his letter from Marianne’s family, telling him that they were able to read her his words while she was still alive. “Your letter came when she still could talk and laugh in full consciousness. When we read it aloud, she smiled as only Marianne can. She lifted her hand, when you said you were right behind, close enough to reach her,” it read. “It gave her deep peace of mind that you knew her condition. And your blessing for the journey gave her extra strength. Jan and her friends who saw what this message meant for her, will all thank you in deep gratitude for replying so fast and with such love and compassion.”
Read the full story at Mashable.