Tuesdays with Morrie

Events

Mitch's first class with Morrie

1976

In the spring of 1976 Mitch has his first class with Morrie. Morrie says to Mitch "I hope that one day you will think of me as your friend"

Mitch didn't keep in contact

1979 - 1995

Although he promised Morrie he would keep in contact Mitch didn't.

Mitch's graduation

1979

Mitch graduates from Brandeis University In Waltham, Massachusetts. Morrie meets Mitch's parents. Morrie ask Mitch to stay in touch which Mitch replies "Of course" to.

Morrie learns he has ALS

August 1994

The doctors tell him he has around 2 years but Morrie knew it was less

Morrie teaches his last college course

October 1994

Morrie didn't have to teach this course but he chose to. He had been teaching at his University for more than thirty years. The first thing he tells his class is "I have been teaching this course for twenty years, and this is the first time I can say there is a risk in taking it, because I have a fatal illness. I may not live to finish this semester"

Morrie is on Nightline

March 1995

Mitch at his home in Detroit, when he is watching tv and sees Morrie on Nightline.

The First Tuesday

August 8, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about the World
Mitch remembers how much Morrie loves food, and brings lots of treats to his first Tuesday visit. Morrie explains that he now feels an affinity with all people who suffer, even people he reads about in the news, such as the civilian victims of the war in Bosnia. He now cries even for those he has never met before; he admits he cries all the time. Mitch, however, never cries, but says that Morrie has been trying to get him to cry since his college days. Morrie tells Mitch that the most important thing to learn in life is how to give out love, and how to let it come in.

The Second Tuesday

August 15, 1995

Mitch and Morrie discuss Feeling Sorry for Yourself.
Mitch returns to spend a second Tuesday with Morrie, and this time decides not to buy a cell phone during the trip so that his co-workers can't disturb his time with his old professor. Mitch has brought Morrie bags of delicious food. Now, Morrie is confined to his study, and keeps a bell by his side to signal for assistance

The Third Tuesday

August 22, 1995

Mitch arrives the following Tuesday with bags of food again. This time, he has brought a tape recorder. At first, Mitch feels that the tape recorder is intrusive and worries that it will make Morrie uncomfortable. But Morrie is okayt with it, and insists that he wants Mitch to hear his story. Mitch realises that using the tape recorder is also an attempt to capture a reminder of Morrie to remember him by after his death. He wonders if Morrie has had any regrets since learning that he is dying. Morrie responds with a lesson on how the culture doesn't encourage people to think about death and regrets until they are nearing their dying day.

The Fourth Tuesday

August 29, 1995

Mitch and Morrie talk about death.
Morrie tells Mitch that everyone is aware that they will eventually die, though no one actually believes it. Morrie is now somewhat dependent on an oxygen machine to breathe. Mitch asks him how one can be prepared to die. Morrie responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if that day is the day he will die.

The Fifth Tuseday

September 5, 1995

They talk about Family. Morrie is not returning to teach. Mitch notices that Morrie's clothes are progressively looser-fitting, as he is rapidly losing muscle and body mass

The Sixth Tuesday

September 12, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about emotions.
Morrie isn't having a good day, and he can no longer eat the food that Mitch brings him each week, as he can only ingest soft food and liquids. Morrie hadn't told him, as he hadn't wanted to hurt Mitch's feelings.

The Seventh Tuesday

September 19, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about the fear of aging. Morrie is now dependent on others for nearly all of his needs. Once again, Morrie tells Mitch that despite the difficulties of dependency, he is trying to enjoy being a "child" for a second time. He repeats that we should reject culture if we don't find it conducive to our needs, and again tells Mitch that we need to be loved as we are when we are babies, constantly being held and rocked by our mothers. Mitch notes that at 78 years old, Morrie is "giving as an adult and taking as a child."

The Eighth Tuesday

September 26, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about money. Today is a good day for Morrie, as a local a capella group has come by the night before to give a private performance for him. Morrie had always loved music, but since his illness, it has had an even more profound effect on him.

The Ninth Tuesday

October 3, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about how love goes on. Morrie's condition has deteriorated considerably. He can barely move his own head, he has the ability to feel pain in his limbs, but cannot move them. Morrie spends his days resting on the chair in his study, and relays his latest aphorism, "When you're in bed, you're dead." "Nightline" has called to schedule a third follow-up interview with Morrie, though they would like to wait until Morrie's condition has worsened a bit more, which bothers Mitch.

The Tenth Tuesday

October 10, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about Marriage. Morrie can no longer eat any of the food Mitch brings him, as he is restricted to a diet of liquids. His condition is drastically worse, as the disease has reached his lungs, which he had always said would mark his death. He is now reliant on an oxygen tank, and suffers violent, hour-long coughing spells, each a serious threat to his life.

The Eleventh Tuesday

October 17, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about their culture. We learn that Morrie believes that every individual, regardless of age, undergoes infinite transformation, and is aware of the mental, spiritual, and physical changes he has experienced since learning of his illness. Mitch, too, is gradually becoming more aware of the changes he is making in his own life.

The Twelfth Tuesday

October 24, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about forgiveness. As Mitch arrives The Nightline television crew, and Ted Koppel, are at Morrie's house for their third and final interview, which Mitch notes is more like a solemn farewell. Morrie isn't confident that he will be able to give the interview, as he now has trouble breathing and speaking. However he manages to although it is in his study this time as he can't get out of his chair.

The Thirteenth Tuesday

October 31, 1995

Morrie and Mitch talk about the perfect day. Morrie tells Mitch that he has decided he wnats to be cremated and discusses his funeral plans with Charlotte (his wife) and Al Axelrad, a rabbi from Brandeis and a long-time friend of Morrie's. Now, Morrie must breathe through an oxygen tube which has been inserted up his nose. Mitch hates the sight of the oxygen tube, as he views it as a symbol of complete helplessness. Morrie describes to Mitch about a violent coughing spell he had suffered the night before, and explains that in those moments he was able to accept his own death. It was only then that he truly felt ready to die

Morrie dies

November 4, 1995

Morrie died on Saturday morning, November 4th. Two days before he died, he slipped into a coma. Each of his family members had worked various time shifts to watch over him, though Morrie had waited until they had all gone to the kitchen for coffee to finally pass away. Mitch believes Morrie had died this way purposely, as not to scar any of his family members in the way that he had been scarred by each of his parents' tragic deaths. The funeral gathering was small, although many had wanted to attend. Mitch does what Morrie's said and talks to him at his gravesite.