This little book is a touching reminder of what makes us truly human: that we have the capacity to love and be loved, to give and to create, to remember, and to be remembered. Tuesdays with Morrie is about a favorite college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who discovers that he is dying of ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and in the process of dying, teaches those around him some universal truths about how to live.
Although he is visited by countless family, friends and former students, it is to former student Mitch Albom that he devotes his Tuesdays to discussing the important things of life, such as culture, love, marriage, money, fear of aging, regrets, and, of course, death. Albom is a highly successful sports writer who, at age 39, is beginning to question his accomplishments and his priorities. One Tuesday visit to his old professor, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years, turns into 14 weekly Tuesday visits with the dying Morrie, who Albom affectionately calls “Coach,” visits that eventually become this book, or his “final senior thesis,” as Albom jokingly puts it.
Morrie is a gentle, funny soul, with enough love and wisdom in him to share with all who come in contact with him. In the course of his Tuesdays with Albom, he tells stories with lessons for all of us, such as learning how to ‘detach’ from emotions like anger, jealousy, and envy, or learning how to embrace aging without regret, since every age incorporates all the other ages within it, or learning how to appreciate life by asking every morning, like the Buddhists, “Am I going to die today?”
The ending of this book is a foregone conclusion, and predictably brought me to tears. The intention of this book is clearly not to glorify death, but rather to revere life and make it worth the living of it.