Dr. Sacks has certainly deepened our conversation and sharpened our insights about how to face the end of life with dignity, clarity and intentionality. His essays, originally published in the New York Times, drew millions of readers, and Gratitude has been on the best-seller list since it was published late last year.
As we remember the legacy of this great thinker, let's also make sure to educate ourselves on the oppressive and profit-driven history of drug laws in this country and the obstacles that remain. It is a choice to either consent through silence or take action to end the drug war once and for all.
Heaven became three times richer this weekend with the passing of three incredibly gifted men who were each deeply committed to their craft. They illuminated our lives in varied ways with their brilliance and talents, and brightened our world with their legacies.
His is not a story of an atheist in a foxhole, not a story of someone "finding God" at the end of life. Sacks' story does not have that finale. But his is a spiritual story nonetheless, in the deeper understanding of what we talk about when we talk about religion.
Two people I've long admired announced this year that they had terminal illnesses: Dr. Oliver Sacks and former President Jimmy Carter. Both have lived consequential lives and are role models for me on how to behave during my last months of life (many years from now, I hope).
May the 'poet laureate of medicine' rest in peace.
"I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well."
Spilman's prepared remarks consisted largely of useful, realistic advice about how to delay the cognitive decline most of us will experience at some point. The audience, ranging from 20-somethings to more than a few senior citizens, was furiously note-taking throughout (or furiously jotting down questions for the Q&A session to follow.)