129. When Breath Becomes Air

29 May 2016

By Paul Kalanithi

129 When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi

I cried reading Paul’s words.

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote towards which you are ceaselessly striving.”

” What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”

Have been struggling with being the right fit. When you question your being, your character, it is upsetting. You feel like you can, and subsequently like you should, shrink and disappear.

~Soon I’ll be 30 years old.

Will I have a story worth living and dying for?

27 Apr 2017

Revisited When Breath Becomes Air, and my heart was touched and softened once more.

“Virtue required moral, emotional, mental, and physical excellence”

“I swore to do better. Amid the tragedies and failures, I feared I was losing sight of the singular importance of human relationships… Technical excellence was not enough. As a resident, my highest ideal was not saving lives – everyone dies eventually- but guiding a patient or family to an understanding of death or illness.”

“Do you think my life has meaning? Did I make the right choices?”

“The secret is to know that the debt is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip, and yet still struggles to win for your patients. You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

“Although these last few years have been wrenching and difficult- sometimes almost impossible- they have also been the most beautiful and profound of my (Lucy’s) life, requiring the daily act of holding life and death, joy and pain in balance and exploring new depths of gratitude and love.”

“He let himself be open and vulnerable, let himself be comforted. Even while terminally ill, Paul was fully alive, despite physical collapse he remained vigorous, open, full of hope not for an unlikely cure but for days that were full of purpose and meaning.”


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