Near the end of his life, when Morrie's body is ravaged by ALS, he shares lessons about forgiveness with Mitch. Pointing to a sculpture of himself, Morrie tells Mitch about his friend Norman, the sculptor. Although they were once close, Morrie had ended their friendship when Norman failed to check on Morrie's wife around the time of a surgery she underwent. Norman had attempted to reach out and repair the relationship, but Morrie rejected him. Later, he learned that Norman had died of cancer. Morrie was utterly devastated. He reveals his deep regret that he never forgave Norman, and this sorrow still causes Morrie great grief; he sobs as he shares his regret with Mitch.
Yet forgiving others is only part of this lesson. Morrie also shares that it is important "to forgive ourselves ... for all the things we didn't do" and "should have done." Although Morrie accomplished a great deal and was widely revered as a phenomenal teacher, he confesses that he wanted to accomplish more. There were things he never got to achieve through his work, books he never got around to writing.
Morrie realizes that everyone has those kinds of regrets, but holding on to a personal sense of failure doesn't lead to any positive outcome. Morrie urges Mitch to make peace with himself and with everyone around him. For this reason, Morrie is thankful for his disease; it has gifted him the time to find peace through forgiveness.