Science & Medicine

On Gratitude

For Arch…

Arch big

These words of another physician/writer considering his own imminent death, fill us with gratitude for the towering presence of our own physician/writer, Dr. Arch McCallister, who chose to stand at our side these past years.



By Oliver Sacks*

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last ten years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate – the genetic and neural fate – of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and have 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.

Above all, I have been a sentient being a thinking animal, on this beautiful plant, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.


*From Gratitude, published by Alfred A.Knopf, copyright 2015,  The Estate of Oliver Sacks

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