Study Guide

Tuesdays With Morrie Chapter 19

By Mitch Albom

Chapter 19

The Ninth Tuesday: We Talk About How Love Goes On

  • It's fall now, and Mitch is bothered again by all the horrible news he reads on his commute to Morrie's house.
  • He tries to call his brother but gets a short reply a while afterward saying that his brother doesn't want to talk.
  • Morrie is brought down more by the disease itself than the idea of being sick, and he slowly starts "melting" into his chair as he loses more and more motion. He can't even lift his head anymore.
  • He makes up these one-line quips to get himself through. The thought of the day today is "when you're in bed, you're dead" (19.7), so he insists on being moved to his chair every day.
  • Nightline wants to do another special on Morrie, but he hopes that it's soon, because he won't be able to speak for much longer.
  • Mitch asks if Morrie would prefer not to use the recorder for the time they have left, but Morrie insists, saying, "this is our last thesis together" (19.22).
  • Morrie says that somebody asked him if he is worried that people will forget about him—he isn't—and then he tells Mitch half jokingly that he has his recorded voice to remember him by.
  • Morrie tries to get Mitch to cry—just a little—but Mitch still won't crack. Tough guy.
  • Morrie knows what he wants on his tombstone. Mitch is kind of uneasy talking about such a blunt topic but lets his mentor speak; he wants his grave to say: "A Teacher to the Last" (19.48). Mitch agrees that this sounds right.
  • Mitch loves the way Morrie gets excited to see him; he makes him feel like he's the only person in the world. Morrie's positive attitude is magnetic.
  • Mitch thinks back to how Morrie taught his students to pay attention. He sees it in a new light; the reason that Morrie makes his guests feel so great is that he gives them undivided focus.
  • Morrie says that people are so busy and unhappy they can't be bothered by others. He gives the example that when he was able to drive he'd let other pushy drivers ahead of him, only to watch them lighten up and smile at him when he kindly waved to let them ahead.
  • Mitch tells Morrie he's the father that everybody wished they had.
  • Change of topic: Morrie's own father. Mitch tells us that Morrie's dad went for a walk every evening after he put his kids to bed.
  • Sadly, one time he was cornered by a couple of robbers and died of a heart attack running away from them.
  • Young Morrie was called in by the police to identify the body.
  • This experience is helping Morrie get ready for his own death. He wants more than anything to have the time for people to love him and be able to kiss and hug and say goodbye.
  • There is a tribe in South America that believes that the world has a fixed amount of energy that moves around in death and life. This carried into their hunting, because they said that if creatures couldn't die, others couldn't be born.
  • Morrie and Mitch like this idea.