Photo by: Greg Wood

Laurie Anderson writes powerful essay commemorating Lou Reed

Laurie Anderson has paid searingly personal tribute to her late husband, Lou Reed

Anderson has already marked Reed’s passing with an obituary in their local paper, The East Hampton Star. The artist and musician, who has been married to Reed since 2008, has now penned a more extensive essay for the forthcoming November issue of Rolling Stone.

The essay sees Anderson describe how the pair met at a John Zorn-curated festival in Munich on 1992. The piece runs through key memories from their relationship, from a first date at the Audio Engineering Society Convention through to Reed’s proposal. An extract is below:

Lou and I played music together, became best friends and then soul mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other’s work, studied things together (butterfly hunting, meditation, kayaking). We made up ridiculous jokes; stopped smoking 20 times; fought; learned to hold our breath underwater; went to Africa; sang opera in elevators; made friends with unlikely people; followed each other on tour when we could; got a sweet piano-playing dog; shared a house that was separate from our own places; protected and loved each other.

In a particularly moving passage near the end of the piece, Anderson also describes Reed’s last moments:

As meditators, we had prepared for this – how to move the energy up from the belly and into the heart and out through the head. I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.

Head here to read the essay in its entirety.

Anderson’s is one of many tributes to emerge since Reed’s death on October 27. We’ve collected a selection of key essays and tributes here, including submissions from Patti Smith, Irmin Scmidt and The Vatican.

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