'Phantom of the Opera' composer Andrew Lloyd Webber details last days before son's death

Andrew Lloyd Webber is opening up about his final days with his son.

In a guest essay Webber penned for The New York Times published Monday, the composer shared his thoughts on endings during his own "season of goodbyes, personal and public," coming on the heels of the close of "The Phantom of the Opera" after its 35 year run on Broadway and the loss of his eldest son.

Nicholas Lloyd Webber, a Grammy-nominated composer, died at 43 late last month after a battle with gastric cancer and pneumonia.

Webber began the essay by painting an intimate picture of the final moments he shared with his son in hospice.

THE END OF AN ERA: 'Phantom of the Opera' takes final bow with tears, chandeliers – and a vow to return soon

Andrew Lloyd Webber and the cast of "The Phantom of the Opera" appear at the curtain call following the show's final Broadway performance.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and the cast of "The Phantom of the Opera" appear at the curtain call following the show's final Broadway performance.

The two were speaking in P.G. Wodehouse quotes, Webber wrote, pointing to a moment of laughter.

After, they "hugged and said our goodbyes," Webber wrote.

"The next day, my son died. Nothing’s worse for a parent than the death of a child," he wrote.

Before his son's death, Webber said he was "absolutely devastated" by his son's critical illness. “He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humor, but at the moment my place is with him and the family,” Webber said about missing the opening of his newest show, "Bad Cinderella."

"In my bones I feel it wrong to write about the closing of 'Phantom' or where Broadway’s going right now," Webber wrote in the essay. But he did his best to share his thoughts on the matter anyway.

"I owe everything to my love of Broadway and its glorious legacy of musicals," he wrote. "So everything I write comes from my childhood dream that I’d make it to the Great White Way."

USA TODAY was on the scene with Webber as he bid adieu to Broadway's longest-running show Sunday. after nearly 14,000 performances.

"I hope you won't mind if I dedicate this performance to my son," Webber said on stage. "When he was a little boy, he heard some of this music and he loved it."

Webber reflected on his relationship with the late director Hal Prince, his friend and collaborator, who prompted Webber to write the score for "Phantom of the Opera."

"The 35-year Broadway run of 'Phantom' has come to an end. It’s a personal loss to see the close of this wonderful creation, the last Hal Prince production on Broadway, with its almost 30-piece orchestra and one of the grandest designs that have ever been seen in the theater," Webber wrote. "The irony is that this past season was its best ever. Perhaps it will rise again."

Webber went on to reflect on the current state of Broadway and how it might need to change moving forward.

He hopes the theatre district in New York can be revitalized — with factors in mind like ticket prices, audience experience and more.

"With the curtain now fallen in New York on the musical that has been the biggest of my career, I passionately pray that Broadway rediscovers the appetite for new scores and original work that made me so excited when I was, as Hal always called me, a kid."

Graphics: The chandelier has descended on 'The Phantom of the Opera' after 35 years on Broadway

Contributing: Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Andrew Lloyd Webber shares final days before son Nicholas' death