Monday, September 11, 2006

Chasing Daylight. And death.

What if you were suddenly told that you have just about 3 months to live? What would you continue to do and what wouldn’t you do?

This is like one of those questions that each of us wants to distance ourselves from. After all, we don’t expect such a thing like premature death to happen to us.

But this is exactly the situation in which Eugene O’ Kelly, late CEO of KPMG found himself to be in. Leading a completely normal and busy life, he goes to a doctor for checking an abnormal development in his face and he’s asked to take a quick MRI scan, which in turn identifies a terminal brain cancer that’s in an advanced stage. He's informed that he has just about 3 months to live. Having been a CEO, what does he do?

He writes a book.

Yes, among other things, he writes his experiences tackling the sudden transformation of life. As weird as it sounds, he figures the only way to lead the last 3 months is to be happy and let the world know what it is REALLY like to be told “You have 3 months to live”. The book he wrote is “Chasing daylight: How my forthcoming death transformed my life” and it’s quite a read.

Since it’s a completely offbeat book – you don’t really have an army of writers who start a book after they know their last date on earth – the read is a completely different experience. I personally bought the book because the theme sounded so different.

The book lived up to my expectations. Particularly poignant was how the author looked at simple things in life – the beauty of a dew drop in a leaf or an early morning call of a bird – in a completely different light from us living humans for whom these simply things don't seem to matter. Even more poignant was how he totally regretted what he DIDN’T do with his family and friends and how good it would’ve been to take time AWAY from work, tone down the pace a lil’, and concentrate on ‘getting a life’.

Summed up: Chasing Daylight is a great read, especially for all workaholics.


At Monday, September 11, 2006 6:03:00 PM, Blogger coolkrishnan said...

Sounds very interesting...

At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:49:00 PM, Blogger Mellowdrama said...

Sounds nice btw did he kick the bucket eventually? Well, sorta sounds like Veronika Decides to Die by an author I don't particularly like, but it's a good read - she is wallowing in misery and is told she is going to die, she snaps out of it and follows her dreams ecetera ecetra only to be told after a few months she is perfectly okay. A good scare certainly gets things moving, doesn't it?!

At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 5:10:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Cool dude: It is interesting too.

@Mellow: No scares this time. The author does fade away [my mention of 'late' KPMG CEO]... and the last chapter is from his rather no-so-sad-sounding wife about his last days.

At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 7:36:00 PM, Blogger Jammy said...

One of the core accounting principles applies to how we all plan our life.... assuming that it is a "going concern" ;)

At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On going concern is fine to read, but you'd only know how difficult it is to digest the thought of dying when you are informed a priori. Let me know if you wanna read it... I'd give it to you next week.


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