Tuesday People

On the second Tuesday, Morrie Schwartz tells Mitch Albom, "It's horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it's also wonderful because of all the time I get to say good-bye. […] Not everyone is so lucky."

I don't know why I didn't read "Tuesdays with Morrie" until now. People told me it was a "quick read". I didn't want a quick read about death. It is a very quick read. I'm going to return it to the library and buy a copy so that I can read it again slowly. Maybe read it over fourteen Tuesdays. Get more of a sense of the pace of the revelations. Feel the passage of time. Morrie pictured a bird on his shoulder that he would turn to and ask "Is today the day I die?"

We're told that our death is particularly hard to deal with, to accept, to acknowledge, to . . . well, it is hard because it was so sudden. Morrie thinks it is easier for the dying if they know they are going to die. I don't know that it is easier for those around them.

Sometimes people know they are going to die. They just know it. They wrap up their affairs with people they know. They walk down town and chat with people they haven't talked to in years. They spend a holiday with their family and then quietly die. It's as if they somehow knew they had unfinished business that they could wrap up.

A six year old has a life time of unfinished business.

All deaths are sad. I think of a college student who has shown enough promise that we understand the life that lies ahead of them. A young parent whose spouse and children will feel the loss forever. An aging parent who leaves behind all of the unresolved issues and unanswered questions. An infant that represents the promise that has yet to take any shape at all.

And a six year old. Like a bud in the spring. Green and ready to open up and show us what is inside.

Maybe it was the suddenness of her death that shocks us. Morrie says "I mourn my dwindling time, but I cherish the chance it gives me to make things right." Maybe a six year old or an infant doesn't need that kind of time because there's nothing to make right.

For Morrie, love was central to who we are and what we do while we are here. Expressing love. Communicating love. If you spend enough of your time opening your heart to others then, he explains, "we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there."

I read through this book – this book that I intend to reread. I was touched more than I expected. I cry easily at books and movies but not, until six weeks ago, not at real life. I was moved through most of the book but didn't cry until I read Morrie's words that

"Death ends a life, not a relationship."

Published in: on April 11, 2006 at 9:54 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have not read that book in a long time and had forgotten that quote! Thank you for sharing it with me.

  2. Your bravery, caring, and openness are surpassed only by your wisdom. Thank you, again, for making my morning.

  3. I listened to this wonderful book on tape a few years ago during a long drive I had to make by myself. It’s read by Mitch Albom and includes a recording of Morrie at the end. You can get it from the library.

    Our family continues to hold you and yours in our hearts and prayers.

  4. “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

    I’d have to agree with those words. Just because someone is physically gone from our lives, doesn’t mean that they are not a part of our lives still. The things that they have taught us, become a part of us, and they live on through the way they have touched our lives and hearts and in our memories.

    The only time someone can truly die, is when no one still remembers them.

  5. Hi Daniel,

    I read this book for the first time about three weeks ago. My mom gave it to me about two years ago… I put off reading it as well. I didn’t really want to read about someone dying. I think it was Elena’s death that made me realize that you aren’t being fully present in your life if you try to ignore the painful aspects of it. Caring for someone who is suffering makes you vulnerable to suffering yourself. But the alternative wasn’t acceptable. Elena gave me the courage to not just read Morrie’s book – but to feel it when I read it. When I read the exact quote you mentioned my only thought was “This is so true. I hope Daniel knows it”. I’m glad you read it also.

  6. A few months ago, I lost the most wonderful man in the world. My heart broke terribly over losing him, but I’ve realized I haven’t really lost him. My morals, my beliefs, my love for my children, everything I am is because he loved me so very much.

    “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

    So true.

  7. I am a member of Audible (although not affiliated in any other way), and I find the Mitch Alborn recording of Tuesdays with Morrie there for $14.97 (or $10.48 if you’re a member). I’ve just downloaded it to my iPod for a listen after reading the book very quickly in the past :-).



  8. i read the book after a severe injury and was very moved…in a way it is the theme for much of the book….what chapter does morrie say this?

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