“I would have to learn to live in a different way, seeing death as an imposing itinerant visitor but knowing that even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.” – Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air.
The author was a Doctor who becomes the patient. Life played a cruel trick on him by giving him terminal cancer so he could answer his own life long question of “what makes life meaningful and virtuous in the face of death?” He is literally racing against time to complete the manuscript of this book and actually dies before its completion. After culminating all this knowledge, saving lives, losing lives, and loving – he literally loses it all. It was so heartbreaking. I don’t want to give too much away but you will learn the raw truth of what it’s like to answer the calling of becoming a doctor. The weight of the responsibility they have to shoulder. And of course, what it feels like to be dying when it is imminent vs. when you are oblivious to the “when?” aspect of it. It was truly frustrating to see his future and potential being robbed by cancer. Brutally unfair. But, I am so grateful that he wrote this book, so we can experience his bravery and his thought process of life while he was alive. This book is sad but worth the read. Life is short, live while you’re living.
Here is a nice website where you can find out more about this book and the author: http://paulkalanithi.com/