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Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life Paperback – October 15, 2007
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As CEO at accounting giant KPMG, Eugene O'Kelly was so immersed in his job that over the course of a decade, he managed to have lunch with his wife on weekdays just twice. His travel schedule was set 18 months out. Once, he was so obsessed with impressing a potential client that he tracked down the man's travel schedule, booked the seat next to him on a flight, schmoozed the guy all the way to Australia, landed the account, and flew immediately back to Manhattan. His Type-A ways vanished when, at age 53, a top neurosurgeon in New York told him he had late-stage brain cancer. "His eyes told me I would die soon. It was late spring. I had seen my last autumn in New York."
There are no TV-movie-style miracle treatments or extensions of his life expectancy; he's told he has maybe 3 months, and he doesn't spend any energy hoping for a cure. True to his CEO style, he creates goals for himself, lists of friends to visit for the last time; he meditates; he tries to create as many "perfect Moments" that he can, during dinner or phone conversations with friends, and realized how rare those moments of connection and joy were in his "previous life." Chasing Daylight is as much a self-criticism of his job-before-family ways as it is a meditation on time and a transition to a tranquil, spiritual state utterly foreign to him as a CEO. O'Kelly's absolutely more fulfilled by the soul work that he finishes in 100 days, compared to his 30 years of corporate promotions and accolades, and he utterly convinces readers to ponder their own situation, whether "in the gloaming" of life as he was or not. --Erica Jorgensen--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
O'Kelly, the former CEO and chairman of accounting juggernaut KPMG who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 53, writes about his "forthcoming death" as one would expect an accountant to: methodically. He charts his downward spiral, from symptoms to diagnosis to the process of dying in this poignant and posthumously published book. (O'Kelly died in September 2005.) O'Kelly's narrative recounts the steps he took to simplify his life-how he learned, for instance, "to be in the present moment, how to live there at least for snippets of time"-and the final experiences he shared with close friends and family. But his story falters on several occasions. O'Kelly provides few substantial details regarding his long career with KPMG; what information he does offer, and his wishes for the firm's continued success, read like portions of a company newsletter. He also refers constantly to his "wife of 27 years, Corinne, the girl of my dreams," but he fails to give readers a sense of her spirit and personality. (She wrote the final chapter, which takes place largely in the hospital as O'Kelly refuses food and water, eventually dying of an embolism.) Nor do readers learn much of O'Kelly's 14-year-old daughter, other than she's bright and he loves her. Though less than perfect, O'Kelly's examination of the life he lived and the opportunities he missed while climbing the corporate ladder will resonate with readers in "foot to the pedal" careers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In doing so, I've tried to find more healthful ways to live my life. I picked up a copy of Simple Natural Cures: Cheap & Effective Remedies for Everyday Common Ailments for my Kindle, and it has been a massive help for my health and well-being. I often suffer from indigestion, headaches, and anxiety, but after looking through the treatments outlined in Simple Natural Cures and employing them, I've been able to lead a much happier life. Like most people, my life has been filled with stress and anxiety, and O'Kelly's book has taught me that life's too short to live with these basic ailments plaguing everything. Simple Natural Cures helps you eliminate these commonplace maladies, helping you live the happier, healthier, and fuller life that O'Kelly ascribed to in his final months.
today to digest the story.
I have read many books on people dying but this book
was different in that Mr. O'Kelly knew how many days
he actually had before he died.
Mr. O'Kelly had a "high profile executive position" who
finds himself in a "new" position when he learns he has
I feel his acceptance of this new outlook as his life
spirals downhill should be considered by all of us...if we
have the time to do so!
Those who gave this book low ratings, obviously understood neither his intention, nor his insightful writing. I also find it distasteful that some readers judged his love for his daughter based on the unrealized trip to Europe. In fact, his enormous love for his daughter has made him trying to delay saying his final goodbyes, he even explained it many times in the text:"How can you ever find the right way to say goodbyes to your most beloved ones? What place, what situation can it ever make less painful?" Instead, he tried to enjoy small little things with his family, and attempted to make the situation less burdensome for his 13-year old daughter, who was not yet a fully formed adult, and for whom the concept of death has come too close, too early in life...
I hope that many people will re-examine their own life and life's priorities, thanks to the O'Kelly's moving piece of literature.
Most recent customer reviews
I think about death many times per day, about once every five minutes. Do you? I don't know if this is normal or not.Read more