There is no way to properly solve how someone deals with death. Everyone and every situation is totally different so therefore there is no baseline for which to find the proper solution. But what if you truly accepted the fact that everyone is going to die. Could that change your perspective on life? Would it make things easier? Would you do anything different? These are all questions people deal with at some point in their life but it wasn’t until I read Tuesdays with Morrie that I actually sat down and thought about life in general.
Tuesdays with Morrie is hands down one of the most profound books I have read along my journey and easily might be leaving the biggest impact. The true story is of a writer Mitch Albom who learns that his former professor from college has Lou Gehrigs disease by seeing him on tv (you can actually watch it on youtube). Mitch goes to visit Morrie as they used to be close friends but have become distant as life passed by. What followed led to Mitch recording Morrie during weekly conversations that the two would have about life.
Morrie is living with an incurable disease that over time takes away every part of movement from his body until it all shuts down. His response to this is not anger even though it would and can be a feeling most people would have, but rather, taking it as a learning experience where he can share his knowledge of the disease. As the book progresses Morrie gives countless quotes that one could hang in their home as an image of inspiration but what also progresses is his disease and how he responds. When asked if he ever gets upset or angry he replied “I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.” This quote of his, staring death in his own body, is one of the greatest quotes to come out of this book. Everyone has people they have lost or knows someone that has lost somebody. You probably notice all of my book reviews include people I’ve lost and maybe that is why this book caught me the way it did. Letting your emotions go and acknowledging them for what they are is an important part of what this book is trying to convey. Morrie states “If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.” Letting the emotions in and feeling them and then remembering all the good you have in your life is what I took in about this book. The book becomes more about your own life and your own feelings about what has happened in it that sometimes you stop reading completely and just think to yourself which I found to be a totally new experience and pleasant while reading a book.
As you continue the story to its conclusion you know what the outcome of the story will be but you are so engrossed in how it is changing your own perspective on life that you cant put the book down. I want to include some of my other favorite quotes from the book because I know how much it has changed my own thinking on life and I hope that it can have a similar impact on others as well. Tuesdays with Morrie gets 9 out of 10 cups of coffee.
“Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it.”
“Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
“Accept who you are; and revel in it.”
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you’re bound to do something else.”
“As you grow, you learn more. Aging is not just decay…it’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand that you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”
“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”
“Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.”
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.”