What a journey Paul Kalanithi took me on in “When Breath Becomes Air”.
I share Atul Gawande’s endorsement. “Rattling, heartbreaking, and ultimately beautiful, the too-young Dr. Kalanithi’s memoir is proof that the dying are the ones who have the most to teach us about life.”
A few nuggets:
– If the unexamined life was not worth living was the unlived life worth examining.
– We are never so wise as when we live in the moment.
– One of the early meanings of patient, after all, is “one who endures hardship without complaint.”
– In taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.
– The angst of facing mortality has no remedy in probability.
– I had passed from the subject to the direct object of every sentence of my life.
– Shouldn’t terminal illness, then, be the perfect gift to the young man who wanted to understand death?
– Eating, normally a source of great pleasure was like drinking seawater. Suddenly all my joys were salted.
– We joked to close friends that the secret to saving a relationship is for one person to become terminally ill. Conversely, we knew that one trick to managing a terminal illness is to be deeply in love – to be vulnerable, kind, generous, grateful.