Paul Kalanithi

When breath becomes air

When breath becomes air

February 4, 2017
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in Tip
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When breath becomes airWowed.
By the beauty of the language.
By the vulnerability and gentleness of Paul.
By the hard-earnedness of the insights shared.

A must-read.
A book I know I will be able to read, over and over again, and always find something new in.

The foreword alone, is a magnificent read – by Abraham Verghese, author of another book that wowed me, in much the same way. Similar and yet, different. But the language. The beauty of the language, the skill of using words, of stringing them together, into sentences and paragraphs that move me, shaking me to my core. Brings tears to my eyes, and lets me soar high on the winds of possibility. All at the same time.

In the acceptance, the experience, of death, Paul Kalanithi generously shares with us a gift, that lasts long after his passing. A passing I cannot help feel was premature. So much he could have continued to give, to his loved ones, patients and colleagues, and to the world.

But I had perhaps not heard of him then – and the same might go for many a people. And it becomes apparent to me, as I read, that the focus within, that says this was not fair, he should have lived much longer, isn’t serving me. It retracts from the message of the book, and so I let it go. Stop resisting, and fall into acceptance, as I read, feverishly, page after page, turning them quickly, not wanting to miss a word and at the same time eager for the next page to reveal its beauty to me. And in accepting, the gift of Paul sharing what he learns as he walks into the valley of death, expands my world, with every breath I take. And then…. breath becomes air.

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