A Legacy Of Love
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a powerful work of non-fiction that charts the author’s journey from neurosurgeon to cancer patient.
The book is beautifully and simply penned, as if the author were addressing a dear friend and not writing a book. The result is that by the end of the book, the reader feels like they have lost a dear friend.
There is a genuine feeling of loss – of what Paul Kalanithi could have achieved as a surgeon, of his daughter and wife having their years ahead without him. But there is also a feeling of celebration, too – Paul Kalanithi left behind a legacy of love – love in the hearts of his family, colleagues and patients.
The first half of the book introduces the reader to Paul Kalanithi the surgeon. He is not a surgeon without empathy, he treats every patient he meets as a person. “I had met her in a space where she was a person, instead of a problem to be solved.”
Paul Kalanithi recognized the need to connect with his patients. They needed his skill set as a surgeon and they needed his words as a fellow human being. “When there’s no place for the scalpel, words are the surgeon’s only tool.”Continue reading