“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air1I tend to stay away from books about death, dying, sickness, leaving, abandonment. I don’t see it as me having a problem with others leaving or the permanence of a person who is gone, but maybe it is.

I grew up on a small island with my extended family. My parents were always away. They would visit or I would visit them; but no matter how long those visits were, they always seemed short to me. I hated saying goodbye and I still do.

Earlier in the year, Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air was one of the most popular books. The buzz caught my interest and made me want to read it, but when I heard it’s about the author’s battle with cancer and that he later died, I procrastinated on picking up the book. Heavy emotions. I didn’t want to deal with it. I didn’t want to cry. Life was heavy enough without the fall of my tears adding to it. So I avoided the book.

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