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

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom

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What is Mitch's fear in Tuesdays With Morrie?

Quick answer:

Though they discuss numerous fears during their weekly conversations, Mitch reveals that his own greatest fear is having to say goodbye.

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Morrie and Mitch discuss many fears during their weekly conversations: the fear of aging, the fear of loneliness, the fear of death. Yet as Morrie's death becomes increasingly imminent, Mitch reveals his own greatest fear: the fear of saying goodbye.

Morrie has been an incredible mentor to Mitch and many others. Mitch has invested an enormous amount of time into visiting his former professor and recording his lessons about life. He cannot imagine the point when their conversations will cease and the world will continue on without Morrie in it. On the fourteenth Tuesday, Mitch learns that Morrie has little time left. ALS has ravaged Morrie's body, and he can barely form words. As usual, Mitch brings his tape recorder into the room with him, yet suddenly he realizes that all of his tapes and recordings will not actually save Morrie. Instead, he must face his fear of having to say goodbye.

Mitch says goodbye through meaningful gestures that are important to Morrie; he holds his hand, kisses him, and tells Morrie that he loves him. Morrie cries, and Mitch blinks back tears; Morrie is visibly surprised because Mitch is a rather stoic person, and he likely feels some satisfaction in contributing to Mitch's particularly emotional response, finally getting his pupil to open up fully.

However, Morrie isn't gone from the world forever; his wisdom lives on because of Mitch's work. Morrie's compassion and kindness continue to influence others, and he continues to gift the world with an incredible perspective on the importance of finding a meaningful purpose in life.

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