Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Death be not proud

"Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so..." -John Donne

Today I watched the video of a man giving his Last Lecture. For most college professors, this would the opportunity to deliver a defining philosophical statement. For Randy Pausch, it was the chance to say good-bye.

Professor Pausch is 46 years old, and he is dying of pancreatic cancer. His upbeat and inspiring speech was meant to challenge his colleagues and students to "move on" without him. It will also serve as a legacy for his young children.

Today I read Terry Pratchett's open letter to his fans announcing that he has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. A best-selling British fantasy and science fiction author, Pratchett remains positive, saying "I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet".

These two men personify courage. They are moving forward with dignity and grace.

“Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright.” -Alice Thomas Ellis

"Snowdrops Thorney Abbey Graveyard" by wit

1 comment:

EScherr said...

I saw Pausch on Oprah. My wife watches her and saves me episodes that she feels are of interest to me. Amazing words that have had a profound effect on me. I wish that my middle school students were old enough to understand his meaning. High school students should watch. All teachers really.