When, at the age of 75, former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz learned that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, rather than withdraw, as many people diagnosed with a terminal disease choose to do, he embraced his illness, choosing to live as fully as possible in the time he had left. Letting Go presents Morrie's remarkable philosophy on living and dying, speaking directly to America's difficulty in letting go of life, with the compassion and pragmatism of one who has been there.
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Preceding the phenomenal success of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, in which Albom discusses his weekly visits with his mentor, Morrie, as Morrie faces death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Morrie Schwartz published his own book, Letting Go: Morrie's Reflections of Living While Dying.
Schwartz intended his words to be read by people dying of terminal illnesses with passages titled ,"Living with Physical Limitations," "Grieving for Your Losses," and "Reviewing the Past." Yet, just as in the case in Tuesdays with Morrie, this collection of plainspoken reflections transcends the "death and dying" category and is more aptly shelved in one's inspiration and spirituality collection.
For example, Schwartz's simple thoughts on courage could speak to any seeker of enlightenment.
"Dealing bravely with physical pain or accidents takes one kind of courage," he writes. "Facing life as it is and accepting it requires another....I have found courage through seeking thoughtfulness, openheartedness, detachment, and other responses that make up a composed life and a calm response to illness....I hope that I can continue in this way to the end so that I die with inner peace.As it was, on November 4, 1995, Morrie Schwartz died just as he hoped he would.
In 1999, Walker & Company decided to reissue Letting Go under a new title, Morrie: in His Own Words --Gail HudsonFrom the Publisher:
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Book Description Walker & Co, 1996. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service!. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0802713157
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Book Description Walker & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-163-75-3960803
Book Description Walker & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110802713157