At first glance, the movie, Tuesdays with Morrie Essay, appeared to be a movie about an ex-student learning a final lesson about life from his dying ex-professor. But, as the movie progressed, I felt it was actually a movie about two dying men. Morrie, the old professor, was in the final stages of ALS and physically dying. Mitch, the former student was a commitment-phobic living an unfulfilled life and spiritually dying. Spiritual death is reversible, so Mitch tried to gain some of the wisdom and learn some of the lessons that Morrie had already learned in his happily fulfilled life.
On the other hand, physical death is irreversible and Morrie realized that his time was growing short. He had concerns, such as becoming increasingly dependent on others, that he wanted to discuss. Most importantly, he wanted to teach the world one final lesson on "The Meaning of Life" and he needed Mitch to be his messenger. For fourteen weeks, Morrie and Mitch discussed life and how it should be lived. Topics included issues concerning love, commitment, forgiveness, family, and regrets. By the time Morrie died, they had helped each other transition to a new life.
Their discussions changed Mitch’s life. Before the weekly lessons with Morrie, he appeared to be terrified of love and commitment. He was also afraid of displaying affection like kissing, touching, hugging or crying. He broke promises to Janine, didn’t save a lot of time for her, and was basically stringing her along. The movie didn’t dwell on why, but it showed that he was totally consumed with his job. In fact, his job was his main priority.Order now
Maybe he was afraid to face his fears and kept his mind off of them by absorbing himself in work. But, Morrie made Mitch face those fears, taught him that love was the most important and powerful force in life and without it, we’re nothing. Mitch ultimately realized that his priorities were backwards and sought more meaning in his life. He learned to take time for others, especially Janie, and show affection. Love and commitment no longer scared him and he was able to savage his relationship. Morrie essentially saved Mitch’s relationship with Janine and made him realize that there was more to life than just work.
Mitch helped improve Morrie’s final days because he was very ill and required physical and emotional help. Physically, he was unable to do things like move, dress himself or even cough. He feared loosing his independence. But, Mitch, his wife and his caretakers relieved those fears. They helped him with his physical and emotional needs. He was constantly surrounded by people, who loved and cared for him.
In a way, he was able to live the life he had through Mitch.
Everyone needs someone to talk to and Morrie was no exception. Conversations with Mitch forced him to think about some of the adversities in his own life such as his strained relationship with his father. Morrie’s father had been a cold, distant man who easily detached himself from people. His detachment was evident when he demanded that Morrie forget and replace his dead mother with his stepmother. This had troubled all of his life, but he was able to teach Mitch that this detachment was wrong.
Death doesn’t end love, love lives on long after you’re gone.
I read this book years ago, when it appeared on the bestseller list. I liked it, but it didn’t have a profound effect on me. Today it does, because my mother is in the hospital and she’s dying. Now, I’m able to connect with a lot of the things that Morrie and Mitch experienced. The time that you have with someone before they die is a gift because you connect with that person and can tell them how much you love and appreciate them and thank them for always being there for you.