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March 31, 2006


He's in a hospice, having decided not to continue kidney dialysis. For now, as he says in this story, he's keeping death "on hold." And he's still writing.

I hope he sticks around and writes a lot more.


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God bless Art Buchwald, the old curmudgeon.

Just keep him off Hooters Air.

Art, you had me *snorking* before I knew what a *snork* was! God bless you.

Soberingly awesome.

Laughing to the end. Dignity defined.

Yes well, I hope that plane is delayed for a long time--or if not, that there's opera in Heaven.

I was reading his work long before I discovered Dave, Carl and Lewis Grizzard. I think I need to visit the library and pick up a few of his on the way home.
Thank you Dave for letting us know. I would never have known, Being that the news depresses me too much and I don't watch it.

Nice post, Dave. Art Buchwald's writing made the world just a little bit happier place, at least for me.

this made me cry. and laugh. and hope to god i never lose my sense of humor.

[someone very close to me is in a similar situation... i'm going to print this up for him, cuz i know he'll appreciate/enjoy it. thank you.]

I work for Hospice of York , York,Maine. The reason we exist is to help patients, not die, but LIVE with dignity. To spend the last days on earth the way the PATIENT wants to.
Art Buchwald has it covered.

Punkin, having needed the services of a hospice twice in the last year (for my mother and mother-in-law) I can only say they were a bright spot in a truly awful year. The care our moms and we received was a godsend!

Punkin Poo: Fixed your first link, deleted your DANG. Hope that's OK.

damn. it's hard to say it's nice but... it is, you know? i'm happy he's having such a comfortable time of it, if he has to have a time of it at all.

I saw an interview with Art on television yesterday; definitely an upper. Those who have cited him as an early practitioner of the art we love best have it right: he was there before any of the current crop, and to see and hear him still on track was both heart-rending and wonderful.
I was a hospice volunteer for a while, and can't say enough about the sanity and warmth that it brought to what is otherwise often a frightening and 'out of control' situation. That training and experience helped me help my cousin when he was in the final stages of AIDS; and the residents of my mom and dad's retirement community have hospice services as a matter of course. We've come a long way in the last 25 years.
Punkin, bless you and all your colleagues:)
And thank you, Dave, for the post.

The "Buch" may stop here, but we get the change.

Absolutely out-of-this-world role modeling! Thanks for sharing this.

Made me think of C. S. Lewis' book, The Great Divorce, also about a trip to heaven, but I think it's a bus.

Went through four years of living with dying with first hubby. Having a sense of humor and knowing this is not an end but another beginning is what got us through. Puts a lot of things in their proper perspective, which is the gift of this experience.

Thanks for lighting the way, Mr. Buchwald. You've given many gifts to the world, and the world has not thanked you nearly enough.

Wherever you're going, please save me a seat. To be in your company would, indeed, be heaven.

And all hospice workers should get unlimited non-stop charters to heaven. Round trip, since that's where they came from to begin with.

Dave, Thank you. :)

And I'm going to put a link to Art's piece on our website.

And [email protected]

Tearing up... Meanie, that is exactly what I said to my sweetie "Save me a seat."

Okay, back to lighted bras and snake-eating children...

it's all been said, including the part that Art Buchwald was the first humor columnist i read regularly.

class and dignity. what a guy.

Thanks for posting this Dave. I've been following his "path" in the Wash.Post but hadn't read the USA article.

To blogits who didn't know about this, he's been writing a couple of times a week (or so) since he decided not to do the dialysis. If you put his name in the search thingy at the WaPost, you can read all his articles.

Sp@ammers are on a no-fly list. Their boarding passes will be denied.

Art Buchwald is the greatest. God bless him.

Anyone else feel like taking a trip to DC?

Typical Buchwald - class all the way. My wife is currently in a home hospice and it is such a wonderful program - not only for my wife but for me and my family as well. Thank you for the post, Dave.

Thank you Mr. Buchwald. Thank you.

Hospice of southwest Florida can kiss my a**. Long, sad story. I pray Art's is better.

Art, may the weather be inclement, and the flight to heaven canceled tomorrow and many tomorrows after that. I hope you're on standby for a long time.

But when you're ready, may it be the best trip ever.

I spent Christmas 1996 in Hospice with my dying father and we all slept there that night. My dad passed away the next day - I think he truly had decided to make it through Christmas as he loved that time of the year. During those weeks in December, Hospice treated us like family and we literally moved in. Punkin - I can't imagine being a hospice volunteer but I am in awe of people who are. Blue's right - there are angels on earth.

*sheds a few tears but then okay*

Tnx, Dave, for this ... and I know you won't be offended when I say that I was reading Art's stuff long before you came on the scene ... tnx also, to Art, for lending me perspective yet helping me keep the ability to laugh ... at whatever needs irreverence ...

Mr. Buchwald, when it's time, even God will have trouble finding a parking spot. And I'm sure you'll fly first class, and get TWO bags of nuts.


I apologize for the Hospice comment. I'm sure there are a great many good Hospices in this country. But it was with tears in my eyes I wrote about the Southwest Florida Hospice at my blog. I guess I got the bad apples.

Tramp - it's okay...I didn't mean to offend you. When anyone is going through the hospice experience it is a terrible time because someone is dying no matter how hospice tries to make everyone comfortable. I understand the tears...been there, done that, have the tee shirt.

((((((Tramp))))))that kind of time is hard enough without added trouble...so sorry you had to go thru that. Your anger is understood.

It's okay now. But to increase someone's suffering through sheer incompitence is unacceptable. These people need to find other jobs.

((((treesect))))and (((((Tramp)))) and ((((puppytoes)))) and ((((Hanna)))) - sounds like a lot of us have been or are going through this. Strength and courage to all.

Tramp - you are absolutely right. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I feel sad for the others who have had to deal with the bad apples at this emotional time in their lives.

Oh, and Sparrow, you didn't offend me. Without background on my experience, I probably sounded like a cracker. SWF Hospice upset me terribly. But I believe you have a tremendous amount of good in you. Thank you for your comment.

Well that was my very first Art Buchewald article. That was pretty funny.

Alfred - and you didn't even have to pay for parking.
May I be the first to wish you a happy April Fool's Day. You've got something on your teeth there....no, no, further to the right. Yup.

Tramp - you didn't sound like anything but someone who had gone through a gut wrenching experience with no support. I hope everything is blue skies and green lights for you from now on...

Thank you Sparrow. Yes I seem to have the blue skies, but I've never paid much attention to the lights. Is that why I keep getting ticketed?

Could be...I've been lucky there - they've never gotten me at a light (yet)...but for speeding - that's something else............................

I have nothing but respect for the man and his decision. I mean, he has had QUITE the full life.

But still. Humorous writers should get extra long lives, just because, you know?

...and when he finally goes, you know he'll end his 'show' with the best zinger! He'll probably make those winged cherubs laugh so hard they'll pee in their wee diapers.

Well, I didn't have time to read these last night, so I just got to them.

Now I'm crying.

I started reading Art when I was, well, in the single digits. He was one of my first humor writers, introduced to me by the same teacher that started me on Mark Twain's funny stuff.

I don't know which I have taken harder. Douglas Adams' sudden, untimely death, or Art Buchwald's slow, good humored goodbye.


Thank you for your wit, wisdom and courage.

That is the true definition of "death with dignity." May we all be so lucky.

and thank you to Art for his lovely and brilliant body of work, which will be read by generations to come. he is a rare bird, and i hope he hangs out longer enough to write more great stuff.

I had not heard of Art's recent news so this came as a shock. My immediate memory is of handing one of Art's books to the guy next to me on a plane trip after I had driven him nearly nuts by convulsing with laughter for a couple of hours. He convulsed too and begged me for the book. NO WAY! I have it still.
Deepest thanks to a terrific writer.

AlanBoss ... excellent manner of connecting Art (and Twain, and others) to our collective psyche ... tnx 4 that ... do we need a collected list of "Greatest Humor Writers We Have Known" ... ? Nah ... that'd most likely become as unweildy as the MOAT or LAST or KILT threads ... We all have our special memories of each of them ... that's enuf ...

Which, BTW, brings up (he segued, casually) the only "problem" I ever had with reading Art ... much of his material is/was (in earlier years) quite topical ... if you din't know a bit of the background, you din't get the entire joke ... Art forced me to keep up with whut's goin' on in the world ... he made me think ... so -- if you missed that part -- this "problem" was a GOOD thing, IMHO ...

Hospice is a wonderful thing. It's hard on the families to lose a loved one, but the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to hospice watch the suffering every day. My Mom received hospice at home before she passed - it was wonderful that she could be home. I spent 2 weeks in their 2 room condo with my 8 brothers and sisters so we could say goodbye. Beautiful memories and just how Mom wanted to go to God.

Godspeed, Mr. Buchwald.

As an insatiable reader since an early age, ART was a FIRST - I also liked Herb Caen's "Don't Call it Frisco" and stories of San Francisco - in the day.

As a person who has failing kidneys; from 3 years of cancer treatments (2 different types of cancer) and who has internal bleeding 24/7 from radiation damage to a bowel; my first prayer in 2001 was,"Give the the gift of being an old gal full of grace and humor"
I, too, have decided against a procedure which has a 'no win' prognosis. And it is okay with my husband of fifty years and my daughters. The grown grands are a little upset - they still live in that world of the 'immortals'. I don't know how people face their challenges without humor and faith. I figure, if I'm gonna die anyway - and all of life is terminal in case you haven't noticed - then I may as well go laughing. Crying just gives me a headache. The thing that irks me - are those who go "tsk tsk", "you poor thing" or the Irish Nurse who said (3 years ago)"poor darlin', you are going to die"; to which I responded with a straight face,"So are you!".

God Bless Art Buchwald - keep writing.
Can't keep a good wordsmith down. I have always loved words and the way they are put together; and, Art does it best.

I have the greatest view from my bedroom here in New Mexico; I see over our little town of Silver to 85 miles of beautiful land reaching South to Old Mexico. Spectacular sunrise and sunset. Sing no sad songs for me - I want the N'Oleans jazz band and a celebration party!

Well put, Grantgal ... extremely so ... tnx 4 that ...


His wit never stops. His writings will be quoted for years to come. I've always read his columns with a come away feeling of "How does he do it?" I know the answer now. It's because he's Art Buchwald.

Let me preface my comments by saying that I hope I am 100% wrong about what I see. I do not wish any harm to anyone, but I am drawn to my conclusion by what I have read in Art's columns. I am no expert on Art Buchwald, but what I have read leads me to believe that he is a pied piper who is leading a vast host of people straight to Hell. He uses humor to attack anyone he does not agree with. He does it in such a way as to garner sympathy for his own views and though he does not use hatful words in attacking those he does not agree with, he non the less foments hatred toward the victims of his pen. May God have mercy on his soul.

I was trhying to post a personal memory of Art Buchwald in Paris and my comment were labelled "comment spam"

My mother grew up with Art Buchwald. She was in the "Happy Girls Club" and talks weekly with Jack and Audry that he mentions from time to time.

Does anybody know how to contact him? My mom insists he would not remember her. She was a 6'1" brunette... who could forget!

[email protected]

They say "Life is funny". They are right.

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