Renée Grass died happy here in Cambodia a few days ago after travelling across
the world to have her last dream come true.
The 83 year old Belgian woman, frail from the passage of time, knew that she had
entered the autumn of her life, several people who were on the tour to Angkor last
weekend said. She travelled alone to Cambodia because her dying wish was to see the
temples of Angkor.
"She told everybody ' I want to see Angkor before I die' ", said Dr. Xavier
Baranger, who was called to treat her after she collapsed and died on November 25
in Phnom Penh.
She arrived in the capital last week and was booked on a tour to visit Angkor over
the weekend. Several other travellers and the tour guides suggested that perhaps
the trip to Siem Riep and the difficult walk through the temple complex was too strenuous
for her, " but she refused their advice because she had this goal," Dr.
Hours after she visited the temples, she became ill, and a special airplane from
Aviation Sans Frontier evacuated her to Phnom Penh.
She died the next day in her room at the Hotel Cambodiana, with the doctor and hotel
staff by her side.
" I've seen situations like this before, when old people have one last goal
in life, and when they have achieved it, they pass away content," said the doctor.
Madam Grass probably didn't know that King Sihanouk completed shooting of his latest
film "Voir Angkor Et Mourir" (See Angkor and Die) at the temple complex
only months ago.
Renée Grass travelled widely up until her last days. Her passport was full
of visas from Argentina to Italy in recent months. She told others on the tour that
she had no children and was a widow.
" She told people ' If I die travelling, just cremate me where I am," according
to the doctor. Her body was cremated at Wat Lanka here in Phnom Penh on Monday.