My transcription of an interview on Fresh Air with Maurice Sendak, shortly before his death.
I'm not unhappy about becoming old. I'm not unhappy about what must be. It makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me. I don't believe in an afterlife, but I still fully expect to see my brother again. It's like a dream life. … There is something I'm finding out as I'm aging, that I'm in love with the world. As I look out my window now as we speak together out my window, and I see my trees, my beautiful, beautiful maples that are hundreds of years old … I can see how beautiful they are, I can take time to see how beautiful they are.
It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time, to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music. You know, I don't think I'm rationalizing anything, I really don't. This is all inevitable since I have no control over it and nothing but praise now, really, for my life. I'lm happy. I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die, and I can't stop them. They leave me, and I love them more.
But I have my young people here, four of them, who are studying and they look at me as somebody who knows everything. Poor kids. Oh God, there are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.
Almost certainly I'll go before you go so I won't have to miss you. And I don't know whether I'll do another book or not, I might. It doesn't matter. I'm a happy old man but I will cry my way, all the way, to the grave. I wish you all good things.
Life your life, live your life, live your life.