illustration of author Mitch Albom sitting next to Morrie Schwartz, who is lying in a bed

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom
Start Free Trial

What does Morrie dread the most?

The thing that Morrie dreads the most about the effects of ALS is that, eventually, he will be unable to wipe himself after using the bathroom.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Morrie is interviewed by Ted Koppel, he is vulnerable and honest about his growing dependency on other people. He can no longer eat or move around his home independently and needs assistance to accomplish seemingly simple tasks. Koppel then asks Morrie what he dreads most about the ravaging effects that ALS is taking on his body.

Morrie pauses; he isn't sure if he can be quite this honest on national television. Koppel assures him that it is okay to say whatever he needs to say.

Morrie looks into the eyes of one of America's most well-known interviewers and admits that the thing he dreads most is that someday soon "someone's gonna have to wipe [his] ass."

Later when Mitch visits Morrie, he explains that not being able to cleanse himself after using the restroom is the "ultimate sign of dependency." He confesses to Mitch that although he still isn't looking forward to that transition, he is trying to learn to enjoy even that part of his life. After all, it is our culture which tells us to be ashamed of having to be dependent on people; since Morrie has ignored cultural standards for most of his life, he doesn't plan to change when he is dying. In the end, he refuses to be ashamed.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on