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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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May 5, 2007 | 4 Comments

Post to the Host:
My husband, David, died early Monday morning from myeloma, a type of cancer. We brought him home from the hospital to hospice care on Saturday morning and at about 2pm he started asking what time it was. I reassured him that he didn't have to worry about time any more and that he could just rest. At 3pm he asked again. And then again at 4:00 and 4:30. Finally at 4:55 he said, "I want a radio." It clicked with me-he wanted to listen to his last Prairie Home Companion show. It was the most important thing that he did that day (besides being with his loving wife and the rest of the family, of course.) He loved the joke show and the Penguin joke and an Ole and Lena joke will be a part of his Memorial Service. We've listened to the show for 27 years and Dave couldn't leave this life without hearing it one more time.

Karen M.

I am sorry to hear about David's passing and my thoughts are with you and your family. You write cheerfully about a hard thing and that is brave of you. As you may know, the show is named for a cemetery up in Moorhead, with the word Companion tacked on, the sort of morbid joke I used to make back then, when I was in my thirties. We used to joke more about aging when we were young, before we figured out where the parade is heading. For some reason I feel younger now than when I was 35 or 45, and the joke show helps and so did that People In Their Twenties show and the young people one meets in the theater afterward. So onward we go. I never heard an Ole and Lena joke at a memorial service before: this may astonish some and surprise the others. Thank you for your letter, which is very dear, and for giving us this thought of David to tuck into our memory.


The Spring Poetry Festival was wonderful! We hope you will make it a regular feature, especially the authors reading their own poetry.
My husband and I have listened to Prairie Home Companion since the 1970's when we first discovered it on a PBS station in rural New Mexico. It was not rebroadcast on Sunday mornings, as happens with some stations, so we would turn down any invites out on Saturday evenings rather than miss the show ! We now listen from KZYX, Philo, Northern California.

Just the way I'd like to go out.

Sorry for your loss, and as Garrison says, "very brave" pretty much sums up PHC as a must, I am in Scotland so I tend to use the archive and pick and choose rather than listen "live" but rarely disappointed, great show, I can understand why he would not want to miss it and great that he didn't..
again.. sorry for your loss

I remember reading this letter, stunned at the timing as my husband had just been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma a few days earlier.

3-1/2 years later and he's still going on and on - and we're grateful. Running across this reminded me just HOW grateful. Life - no one gets out of it alive, I guess the best we can hope for is to get out of it with love.

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