Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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What is Morrie's reaction upon learning that he is dying of an incurable disease and doesn't have long to live?

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Morrie’s reaction to finding out he is dying is admirable. He decides to make the most of the time he has left and to use it to benefit others. The chapter titled “The Syllabus” explains Morrie’s plan:

But my old professor had made a profound decision, one he began to construct the day he came out of the doctor’s office with a sword hanging over his head. Do I wither up and disappear, or do I make the best of my time left? he had asked himself. He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying. Instead, he would make death his final project, the center point of his days. Since everyone was going to die, he could be of great value, right? He could be research. A human textbook. Study me in my slow and patient demise. Watch what happens to me. Learn with me. Morrie would walk that final bridge between life and death, and narrate the trip.

Here, the story reveals that Morrie feels like death is looming over him like a “sword hanging over his head.” He feels that at any moment, death may cut him down, and that makes him afraid. He also fears that he may “wither and disappear,” a reference to a plant that is here one minute, and quickly dries up and is forgotten the next. This is an allusion to Psalm 37:1-2, which says:

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

The Psalm teaches that men should not fear or envy evil men when they flourish, because their lives are brief. They are not remembered for the positive impact they have...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 587 words.)

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