Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oliver Sacks on Life and Death

Neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks, passed away from liver cancer almost one year ago. Recently, his final interview was released, which will be part of a documentary on Dr. Sacks's life:

First look: The last ever interview with Dr Oliver Sacks from TED Ideas on Vimeo.

As always, Sacks is witty and informative, but at one point in the interview, things take a more personal turn:

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 nobody like us when we are gone, but then there is nobody like anybody ever. When people die they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled. 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. Even so, I am shocked and saddened at the sentence of death, and I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and 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 planet, and this in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

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