Confessions of a Bibliophile

When Breath becomes Air

So I did it again… I read another sad book… and this time I did it properly.

This must be the saddest book I have ever read.

Reading about cancer from the eyes of the patient is one of the most scary things I have done. I lost my mom to cancer a very long time ago and no matter how many years go by, whenever I read about cancer, I think of my mom. I guess this will never change. It’s okay, it’s life. It just puts me in a very uncomfortable space which, if I can, I rather avoid.

I often ask myself what my mom must have thought or felt when she knew she wasn’t going to get better anymore. I will never know.

Maybe, after reading Paul’s thoughts, I will be as close to it as I will ever get.

Paul Kalanithi’s motivation to become a neurosurgeon and eventually to write this book, was, to get people to deal with death in a different way. He wanted to take the taboo out of the talking about it. With his work as a neuro-surgeon and his words in this book, he tried to help patients and their relatives to deal with a terminal disease.

I commend Paul and his wife for their bravery. This is why I decided to read the book.


We all have to die. Eventually.

If there isn’t death, there can’t be life.

It’s as simple as that.

It’s not our favourite part of life. But it is part of it. A very decisive part of it. So why do we never speak about it? As if not speaking about it, will make it go away…

Well, it doesn’t.

Do you ever catch yourself thinking “it’s not the right time”… well, what if it’s the only time?

Maybe, if we’d think about “the end” more often or would stop behaving as if we were immortal, as if we have all the time in the world to do what we want to do with the time we are given (who knows how much time we really have), maybe, just maybe, we would just do the things we want to do, find a way of doing them now, and live a fullfilling life so that, when we get to the end, we can look back onto a life, well-lived.

As long as we are not dead, we are alive. And as long as we are alive, we better live life.

1 Comment

  • Stanley-Carl du-Pont
    September 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    As another book closes, another great review comes to life.

    Good book reviews, like good shoes and a good bed, make for a life well-lived.


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