Depressing Last Words From 5 Famous People
We hope that the last words you hear in 2022 are “5... 4... 3... 2... 1...”
Or maybe you’ll hear something less encouraging. Like, “No, not on the couch!” Or: “Why is the Moon getting bigger?” Or: “Really? With my brother?”
Of course, even if you hear a countdown, it might not be so festive, especially if it counts down to detonation. In that case, the last words you hear in 2022 might be the last words you’ll ever hear, and you’ll have mere moments to speak last words of your own. Either way, hopefully they won’t be as sad as the following ones...
Einstein Died Speaking a Language No One Around Him Understood
Without any specific knowledge of when or how Einstein died, you can probably guess that he said something smart with his last moments. He had a bit of a reputation as an intelligent guy. In fact, anytime you hear a good quote, you can attribute it to Einstein. You’ll probably be falsely attributing it to him, as he never said many of the quotes that people associate with him, but you still can attribute it to him, dammit.
When Einstein was 76, a core blood vessel ruptured. He said he didn’t want an operation. “I want to go when I want,” he said. “It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” Wow, those words should stir up some complicated feelings from all of us. They were certainly eloquent though, and they were the sort of message he might want to leave behind.
Those weren’t his last words, however. He had time to talk to his son after this and to a Princeton colleague. Then in the morning, he said his actual last words. He delivered them in German, and then he died. The nurse attending to him, Albert Rozsel, didn’t speak German. She couldn’t understand the words or write them down, and so none of us have any idea what he said before he took his final breaths.
Michael Jackson Died Delirious and Desperate
Jackson was the victim of homicide. Maybe you missed the news, or forgot it, but yes, the coroner formally declared his death a homicide (or regicide, technically). He died from drugs, and a doctor gave him those drugs. Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted and spent two years in prison for manslaughter, along with losing his medical license.
Murray was at Jackson’s bedside as he died. According to Murray, Jackson’s last words were repeated requests for “milk.” “Milk” was his name for propofol, the anesthetic he overdosed on. Propofol does look like milk, and it’s nicknamed “milk of amnesia.” Picture Jackson deliriously ask for milk, though, and you think of his baby mind, as well as his addiction.
Since Murray later went on trial for Jackson’s death, you might question his reliability regarding Jackson’s last words. Keep in mind, however, that the trial wasn’t about whether Jackson wanted propofol. It was about whether Murray was guilty for giving what his patient requested, and whether he administered it properly. Murray also recorded some of Jackson’s words on his iPhone: “Just make me sleep; it doesn’t matter what happens,” Jackson directed.
Never mind that he asked for it — Murray just looked even guiltier for 1) acceding to such a request, and 2) recording his patient on an iPhone like some giggly fan.
John Adams Died with False Hope
Adams died on July 4, 1826. That was quite a date — it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence (or at least the day on which we pretend it was signed). He was 90 years old. That was quite an age — the 20th century would end without another president living longer.
“Thomas Jefferson survives,” said Adams, as his last words. Jefferson was a few years his junior, but Jefferson making it to the age of 83 was still a decent accomplishment.
Except, Adams was wrong. Jefferson had died. Adams didn’t know it because Jefferson died just a few hours before, and the news hadn’t yet reached his friend. Jefferson’s own last words, by the way, were the opposite of Michael Jackson’s. He said, “No, doctor, nothing more,” when the physician offered him laudanum.
So Adams died with false hope. With both Adams and Jefferson dead, the American experiment had failed, and so the nation was formally dissolved shortly after.
Walt Disney Died Giving Misspelled Notes
Disney died younger than anyone else on this list, other than the one guy whose death was a homicide. He passed away at 65 of complications resulting from cancer. The last film he worked on was 1967’s The Happiest Millionaire, a movie where a man’s alligators get frozen one winter, they later thaw out and run amok, and this has no significant impact on the plot.
Disney wrote out his last words. We have no record of him saying anything in the hospital where he died, but before he went there, he scratched out these notes on a page about TV projects: “Ron Miller— 2 Way Down Cellar 2. Kirt Russell 3. CIA— Mobley.”
Over the years, fans have had a go at decoding all that. Ron Miller was Disney’s son-in-law. Way Down Cellar was a made-for-TV movie, which would later come out. Mobley had to be an actor named Roger Mobley. The CIA reference? That’s a mystery. As for “Kirt Russell,” that surely meant Kurt Russell. The Walt Disney Company had already signed the guy to a 10-year contract, so no one knew what specific plan Disney had for him, and they just kept casting him in movies as usual.
Not only did Disney leave us no useful context for his Russell request, but he included a most peculiar misspelling in “Kirt.” We’d have misspelled the Russell part, personally. It’s almost like he spelled it wrong on purpose, just to let that uppity youngster whom they’d signed know that he wasn’t important enough for Disney to get his name right.
Roald Dahl Died with Some Dramatic Last Words Planned. But Then...
We should all love to hear some more words from the mind of Dahl. Any random bit of writing you pick up from him is bound to be brimming with ideas, whether it’s about recovering from the trauma of war, eating New Zealanders for the booty flavor or having sex with a man who just won’t shut up.
Dahl died at the age of 74. His family buried him with wine and a power saw, due to some inside joke that they have not explained to anyone. His family were around him as he died of cancer and as he delivered what could have been his final words. “You know, I'm not frightened,” he said. “It's just that I will miss you all so much.”
But then a nurse jabbed him with a needle (deathbed nurses, we’ve learned, are always quick to supply drugs). And so, Dahl spat out his actual last words: “Ow, f—k!”
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