Didion comes to realize that the seeds of magical thinking had been planted years before John’s death, since she had dismissed John’s signs by wishing them away, optimistically believing that his doctors had taken care of his health problems. In retrospect, she sees that her lack of recognition of earlier signals was a failure on her part to appropriately appreciate the clues John provided and what they foretold. Just as she had failed to appreciate the dedication in his book, she had similarly failed to appreciate that the cause of his death had been named years before it happened. Before he died, Didion had already engaged in a kind of magical thinking wherein the inevitable consequence of John’s heart problem could be corrected by a medical procedure and the active attention of his doctors. John himself had known that, no matter what happened, there was an inevitable outcome that could not be prevented, only delayed.