Koch Makes His Peace and Dares to Look Ahead

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He’s already installed and inscribed his tombstone. He’s recruited a rabbi to preside over his funeral. He’s been saying some goodbyes. He insists he no longer carries any grudges; well, maybe just a few. He’s issued an apology or two and even confesses to a few regrets as mayor.

Ed Koch, at 84, isn’t dead yet.

But the former mayor — still looming though stooped from stenosis, a spinal degeneration — is philosophically confronting his own mortality. His is a life that has played out mostly in the public eye, and now, perhaps appropriately, so are many of his preparations for the beyond.

“We all die,” he said over lunch in Midtown the other day, his words unequivocal but his voice raspy. “Whenever he or she wants me, I go.”

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