Thursday, March 3, 2016
When Breath Becomes Air
When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man's days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.
I rarely share quotes or excerpts from books, but Paul Kalanithi's memoir When Breath Becomes Air is such a fantastic book. Part memoir, part discussion on death and life, medicine, and faith, this is a book that I will still be thinking about for months, if not years. The above quote is taken as Paul writes to his daughter, who was not yet a year old when he passed away. Reading this little paragraph nearly brings me to tears each time I read it, as I cannot believe that this man will never see his daughter grow up, and will not be able to share with her more wisdom than can be contained in his book, but that comes from having a lifetime to live with another person.
When Breath Becomes Air has been all over the news lately. I knew it would be hard to read, but it surprised me how easily I could fall into this book, despite knowing how it would end.
I am hopeful that Paul Kalanithi's book will become a must read for everyone who lives and dies, and that his voice will live on.
Have any of you read this book yet? Thoughts?