You may be asking, “Who the hell is François Rabelais?” I would have said the same thing had I not read Looking for Alaska by John Green, where he used Rabelais’ last words as one of the center themes for the novel (oh, and the protagonist’s hobby just happened to be researching the last words of every person he could find). Apparently Rabelais was a French Renaissance writer, doctor, scholar, etc., but his last words are what intrigue me. They were: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”
Of course, when someone is dying, they can always hope to ascend to green pastures and blue skies, or to wake up in a new life in their ideal form, or maybe just to lie peacefully six feet underground with the dirt and grubs. However, no one really knows what’s about to happen. I believe Rabelais’ words are not only an accurate statement of what may be coming, they are also a beautiful choice of words. He doesn’t overemphasize the “Great,” which leaves the options of death open, in that it may be great… or greatly terrible. I also like “Perhaps” as a noun because it’s a term that gives no definitive answer and leaves countless options open for whatever is in his future. I also like that he’s “seeking” the Great Perhaps, and not just being passive about his death. François Rabelais may not have been a superstar in the Renaissance, but he got it right in the end.