Patti Smith published a short essay in The New Yorker paying tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator, the late playwright and actor Sam Shepard, who passed away Monday. The essay, titled “My Buddy,” poetically details Smith and Shepard’s decades of friendship — long, late night calls from the road, time spent together at Shepard’s home in Kentucky, and the two’s bond over shared and separate work. The piece includes a touching paragraph about Shepard’s last day:
It was a Kentucky evening filled with the darting light of fireflies, and the sound of the crickets and choruses of bullfrogs. Sam walked to his bed and lay down and went to sleep, a stoic, noble sleep. A sleep that led to an unwitnessed moment, as love surrounded him and breathed the same air. The rain fell when he took his last breath, quietly, just as he would have wished. Sam was a private man. I know something of such men. You have to let them dictate how things go, even to the end. The rain fell, obscuring tears. His children, Jesse, Walker, and Hannah, said goodbye to their father. His sisters Roxanne and Sandy said goodbye to their brother.
Just from reading Smith’s essay, it’s evident that the two artists had a closeness most can only dream of having. Read the entire tribute here.