Death and Life - Tuesdays with Morrie

Nagel wrote: “everybody dies, however not everyone concurs about what death is.” In this chapter, Death, Nagel describes some of the beliefs individuals have about death. One of his points was survival after death. Nagel stated that if dualism is true we can comprehend how life after death may be possible. Each person would include a soul and a body, and the soul would have to be able to leave the body and function on its own. If dualism is not real, then life after death could not exist due to the fact that psychological procedures enter the brain which depend upon the remainder of the body.

Nagel thinks that life after death might be tangible if dualism is real.

Nagel asserts that death, the most scary of things, is absolutely nothing to us. Since as long as we exist, death is not with us; however when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead.

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He explained that death can be considered an unfavorable evil since when an individual passes away, their lives end. This implies that there is nothing left; no love, work, food, clothes, cars and trucks or anything else. When Nagel says death has no worth, positive or negative, he implies to the person who has actually passed away. One’s death can plainly have worth to others, unfavorable to one’s friends and family, positive to one’s opponents or those who benefit from it.

Nagel likewise discussed that anything that is bad for someone-must be bad for that person at a specific time.

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There is no time at all at which death is bad for the one who dies. Death is not bad for someone prior to he passes away; it is not bad for her when he dies, due to the fact that from that point on she no longer exists.

Nagel makes an asset when he stated: “the reality that all good ideas in life pertained to an end is reason for remorse.” Some people desire more to enjoy in their lives. Others are frightened of death, so they live in worry, not living life to the fullest. He stated that it is scary to think that when a person dies, the world with go on without them and they will end up being nothing.


I enjoyed the film Tuesdays with Morrie that is important to Chapter 9, Death, in Nagel’s book. The motion picture might likewise relate to Chapter 10, The Significance of Life. I check out the book Tuesdays with Morrie long earlier and I also recently viewed the motion picture. Mitch Albom is the author of the book and one of the primary characters in the film.

Mitch is a newspaper columnist who is dedicated to his work and himself. Mitch spent almost all of his time working which caused him to realize what was really important in his life. Since Mitch spent so much time working, his relationship with his girlfriend Janine suffered. Mitch came across his favorite college professor, Morrie, when he was watching a TV interview. Morrie was dying from Lou Gehrig disease. When Mitch seen this, he begins to feel guilty because he promised to keep in touch with Morrie after graduation, but never did. Now that Mitch knows that Morrie is sick and does not have that much time left, Mitch wants to see his beloved professor. Mitch went out to Massachusetts to visit Morrie which led to the two meeting regularly, every Tuesday. For being sick, Morrie was extremely optimistic. Morrie wanted to spend the last months of his life teaching the world about life through TV interviews. Mitch and Morrie talk about life, everything in it and death.

Mitch and Morrie talk about Mitch’s brother, Peter, who has cancer. Peter does not want anyones help or sympathy because of his sickness. Mitch tries to call Peter and he does not want to talk to Mitch. Morrie tells Mitch that soon the two brothers will be able to talk about it. Mitch learns how to better himself through his Tuesdays with Morrie. Mitch learns that there is more to life then just work, how to relate with Janine and how to deal with grief and fear. Each Tuesday we notice Morrie’s health declining. At their last meeting, Morrie was bed ridden. As Mitch and Morrie hugged each other the last time, Morrie notices that Mitch is crying. After Morrie dies, Mitch tries having a conversation with Morrie, as he had wanted. Mitch feels a certain naturalness and comfort to this conversation and realizes that it happens to be Tuesday. After Morrie’s death, Mitch and his brother Peter begin to talk again.

Morrie talks to Mitch about learning to accept death. One of the phrases that really stood out to me that Morrie said was “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Morrie feels that people refuse to believe, or think, that they will die, which leads to not living life to the fullest extent. Most people put death in the back of their minds, thinking it will never happen to them. Like Morrie says we live life sleepwalking, never fully awake or aware which is how most people live their lives, like Mitch did. Morrie also talks about regrets; as people age and become closer to death, they start to regret more things. Like Nagel, Morrie knows that once we fully accept that we will someday die, we learn to live our lives the way we wish without any regrets.

Morrie came to terms with the fact that he knew he was going to die, and he wanted to make the best of his life. Mitch seen that Morrie was very sick and began to regret that he broke his promise to stay in contact with Morrie. Although Mitch did feel guilty, he probably would not have even remembered his professor if he did not see the interview since Mitch was so caught up in himself and his work. If the circumstances were different, and Morrie was not dying, would Mitch still have went and seen Morrie or did Mitch feel rushed because Morrie’s time was running out? Mitch met with Morrie and seen the positive way that Morrie was living his last few months, even though Morrie knew he was dying. Mitch realizes that through Morrie’s death he has learned how to fully live his life.


I do believe that the information in Nagel’s book is much deeper then popular culture point of view. We all know that death is inevitable, and everyone has different opinions about it. Nagel states how a person handles death depends on their personal and/or religious beliefs. The grieving process is different for everyone; some may face the death with no problems and others sometimes never get over it. Nagel explained that people are often afraid of their own death. I thought that Nagel actually made me think about what death really is and means. Sometimes death can be hard to deal with but once we accept it, we can start living our lives the way we wish.

For example, when a person with a terminal illness has a specific amount of time before their life will end, those people have the benefit of ‘making things right.’ This person can forgive those who have hurt them, say things that need to be said, spend time with loved ones or do things that they have always wanted to do, if possible. On the other hand, a person who dies suddenly does not have the opportunity to possibly right their wrongs. The person with a terminal illness has been given an advantage over the person who has a sudden death.

In popular culture people view death as a grim, sad thing. Whenever we see death in the news, media or experience it ourselves, it is often considered to be tragic or a great loss. In popular culture, death is the one thing that everyone has in common. We always see celebrities in the news or media that have died. It seems as if the death of these noticed people are always big, like Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson. The death of my grandmother or grandfather would not make the news, though each death is truly a sad thing.

Just as Nagel said, when someone dies the world does not stop, it keeps going. We still must learn how to cope and manage our sadness. Yes, death can be seen as a sad thing when you loose a loved one because you wish you could have more time with them. Maybe death is a sad thing because the deceased had suffered. Death can also be seen as a relief to the family of the person who had suffered, so they are no longer suffering. As Morrie and Nagel said, once a person accepts death is when we begin to live our lives the way we want to.

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Death and Life - Tuesdays with Morrie. (2017, Jan 07). Retrieved from

Death and Life - Tuesdays with Morrie

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