oliver sacksI feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since my original diagnosis, but now I am face-to-face with dying.

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

Over the last few days (since my terminal diagnosis) I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with the deepening sense of the connection of all its parts.

I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. I have read and travel down to thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. I have been a sentient being, thinking animals, on this beautiful planet and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure…

This does not mean I’m finished with life. On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

More in the interview in The New York Times.