Maria died last night. Her body is still lying in her room this morning, because the stretcher-bearers have not yet come to fetch it. I went to her side when I arrived this morning. She looks incredibly young now that her face no longer carries the marks of her suffering. She looks touchingly beautiful. It may sound strange to describe a corpse this way. Yet some inexplicable quality is emanating from her, some trace of what she was, which wants to linger still, like an enduring perfume perhaps. Certain traditions hold that the soul remains for a time near the body.

Marie de Hennezel, Intimate Death by Marie de Hennezel, Carol Brown Janeway, translator