This reminds me of the painting "The Death of Marat" (Jacques-Louis David) for some reason that I don't fully understand??? I get the same feeling from it. Perhaps it is Marat himself reading from the book of the dead to the left. The suddeness of death in that one dies where one lies as if in the middle of doing something that will remain incomplete for all eternity.
thanks very much! if i wasn't such a lazy fuck today, i'd look up 'the death of marat' before i reply. sounds familiar, but my acid burned brain won't regurgitate the memory for me. but yes, death is always unexpected, even when it's expected. because the bastard never calls ahead!