Leonard Cohen Writes Touching Goodbye Letter to 'So Long, Marianne' Muse Days Before Her Death

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Leonard Cohen photographed in 1967.

Legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen wrote a touching letter to his former muse Marianne Ihlen, who inspired such songs as "So Long, Marianne" and "Bird on the Wire,” days before her death on July 29.

Shortly after learning that Ihlen would soon be passing from leukemia, Cohen penned an emotion goodbye note, her friend Jan Christian Mollestad told the CBC. Mollestad said she was able to read Ihlen the letter before her death.

“Well Marianne it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine," Cohen wrote, according to Mollestad.

"And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don't need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.'"

Cohen and Ihlen enjoyed a seven-year romance after meeting on the Greek Island in Hydra during the 1960s. In addition to "So Long, Marianne" and "Bird on the Wire,” the Norwegian model also served as the inspiration for his song "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye.”


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