Morrie Schwartz


Morrie Schwartz Essay, Research Paper

Question for the Final: In what ways is Morrie Schwartz death like or unlike what most people experience?

It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

Caesar, Julius Caesar

Caesar in his acceptance of death has come to the same epiphany as Morrie. It is not until we embrace death that we can life freely, although few have such a luxury. Many are faced with death swiftly and are not blessed with the time to come to this point of acceptance. While Morrie was forced to come to his end slowly and at times painfully, he was given a precious gift few on their deathbeds receive; time. Few people are given this blessing; many people are either taken to quickly or worse yet are robbed of the ability to communicate.

Morrie suffered from a disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig s disease. This assiduous killer slowly robbed Morrie of first his freedom then his life. It is difficult to imagine being robbed of one of the basic freedoms, speech. Although tragic that Lou Gerhrig s disease prolonged Morrie s suffering, it gave him the opportunity to both come to terms with his death and prepare his family. For example, many stroke victims lose the ability to speak and must learn all over again. This is very difficult for both the family and the stroke victim.

Another wonderful gift that Morrie was given was the chance to die with both dignity and meaning. In giving his final lesson he was able to maintain a sense of purpose up to his dying days. I have learned from personal experience that such a gift is very special one. My grandfather spent the last month of his life hooked up to a machine that would breath for him. Although it kept him alive, his quality of life was very low.

Morrie had no walk in the park either; he was slowly robbed of his body until he was just a mind stuck in a hollow fragile shell. He was forced to see his freedoms taken away one by one. First his freedom to walk left him a prisoner in his own home. Then as he lost control over his bodily functions, his privacy was taken as well.

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