George Harrison's Final Days: PEOPLE

12/05/2001 at 07:20 PM EST

By Nov. 28, George Harrison knew the end was near, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story. Frail and bedridden at a friend's Los Angeles home, the 58-year-old former Beatle was losing his four-year battle with cancer, and close friends were arriving to say their good-byes. Anoushka Shankar rushed to L.A. with her father, Ravi, 81, Harrison's Indian music mentor, to spend the day with her "Uncle George." "He had a look that I'd never really seen before, so full of love and peace," Shankar, 20, told the magazine. "He wasn't able to say anything with his lips, but his eyes were saying it. That house was just so full of love." Less than 24 hours later, Harrison took his last breath with his wife, Olivia, 54, and son Dhani, 23, by his bedside. His body, lying on a bedroom chaise lounge and covered with a yellow silk blanket strewn with rose petals, was taken away and cremated nearby -- all before the world even knew of his passing. "He faced the end with such courage and quiet dignity," said longtime friend, musician Graham Nash, 59, "which is how he lived."

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