“When Breathe Becomes Air” is touching

Andrea Garcia

When Breathe Becomes Air is a beautiful, remarkable and poignant story written by Paul Kalanithi, a young neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with metastatic terminal cancer. He had a limited time to live, only 22 months. Most people ask themselves what they would do if they had only a short amount of time to live. Paul decided to leave a legacy behind, to influence the lives of others once he was gone.

He wrote from his professions viewpoint, as well as a patient’s. He wrote about living, death, his fears and what he hoped to leave behind. The story was driven by his declining health, however, he wrote persistently fueled by the ticking clock. He was racing against time. He faced his death unlike many, with courage knowing he could not avoid it. He looked death straight in the eye and took it on. His writing makes the reader realize that in this world we are not death-avoidant; we will all die and become ashes. His intention was not to scare, or to bring fear within the reader of the thought of death, but to help the reader face it with integrity.

His writing is beautiful, perfectly and meticulously aligned. It reminds us of our fate; that one day we will all vanish into eternity. We will all die, now what you do leading up to that day is up to you.