As the world continues to mourn the loss of David Bowie, those closest to him are sharing heartfelt tributes and new details about his final days.
Bowie's longtime friend and collaborator Brian Eno admits that Bowie's death was "a complete surprise," but that the pair's email exchanges take on a new meaning today.
"Over the last few years - with him living in New York and me in London - our connection was by email," Eno says in a statement. "We signed off with invented names: some of his were mr showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda borrocks and the duke of ear.
"I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did," he continues. "It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, Brian. they will never rot.' And it was signed 'Dawn.' I realize now he was saying goodbye."
The legendary performer died on Sunday at 69 after quietly battling cancer for 18 months.
Director Johan Renck -- who helmed Bowie's final music videos, "Lazarus" and "Blackstar" -- honored the late star on Monday with a smiling, black-and-white photo of the legendary artist and a poignant caption.
"In July you told me that you were ill. We never directly touched upon it again (apart from when you made morbid jokes). It, obviously, colored our talks on work like a nebulous and devious undercurrent but I wasn't capable of taking it in, so I embraced it all as a note on mortality, a nod on aftermaths, a comment on the concept of legacy. What else could one do?" Renck wrote on Instagram.
"Last night I dreamt that I bumped into you outside some dank building in deep Brooklyn. 'I thought you were dead!?' I blurted out. 'Who told you so?' you said with your infectious smile. 'The world. The world told me so!' You smiled even wider. 'Screw you world!' I bellowed, and we laughed; you bigger than me," he continued. "Well, screw you world."
On Friday, Bowie released Blackstar, his final album, on his 69th birthday. The project has received universally rave reviews.
The star is survived by
his wife of 23 years, fashion model Iman
, their 15-year-old daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones
, and Bowie's son, Moon
director Duncan Jones
, from a previous marriage.
Shortly before Bowie's death, ET was with his Labrynth co-star, Jennifer Connolly, who couldn't help but gush over the icon.
"David Bowie was so sweet to me," she said. "[Making] it was probably more fun than watching the film. It was a really special experience."