The burnished mahogany casket in which she lies is the same color as her hair. The white flowers and green leaves that covered it as it left her Fifth Avenue apartment have been removed in the vestibule of the church and, in their place, a dark red and gold brocade coverlet has been laid, completely covering the coffin. It is made of the sort of exquisite fabric that would have appealed to her love of all things beautiful. She might have made a cloak of it to wear on one of the thousands of nights when she entered a room in radiance, a born star, eclipsing all others.
I hate the reason I am here, but I am glad that I am here. Because the memory of these two hours in this magnificent holy place where Jackie was baptized and confirmed a Catholic and where she has returned at the end of her life, will remain with me until the end of mine. She not only taught us how to live, but didn't she also teach us how to die? How many will show her brand of courage on their final journey?
The priest, every word clear as a bell, is calling her Jacque-leen, giving her name the French pronunciation she is said to have preferred in the days when she first met John Fitzgerald Kennedy and they fell in love. Jacque-leen didn't last long. It was soon Jackie to the world. A world in her thrall.