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by Kevin Coupe

This morning's Eye-Opener has nothing to do with business. However, it has everything to do with life.

Oliver Sacks is a well-known professor of neurology at New York University's School of Medicine, as well as the author of a number of books, including “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and "Awakenings," which was turned into a movie with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams (as Sacks).

This week, he wrote an extraordinarily moving op-ed piece for the New York Times in which he talks about his life and his death.

"A month ago," he begins, "I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver ... now I am face to face with dying. The cancer occupies a third of my liver, and though its advance may be slowed, this particular sort of cancer cannot be halted.

"It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can."

Sacks goes on: "Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

"On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight."

It is a lovely piece of writing, at once brave and wondrous and passionate.

"I cannot pretend I am without fear," Sacks writes. "But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers."

Apparently, it is not over. I, for one, am grateful.

Read the column by clicking here. As I say, it is an Eye-Opener.
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