Oliver Sacks died in August 2015 at his home in Greenwich Village, surrounded by his close friends and family. He was 82. He spent his final days doing what he loved: playing the piano, swimming, enjoying smoked salmon - and writing. As Dr Sacks looked back over his long, adventurous life his final thoughts were of gratitude. In a series of remarkable, beautifully written and uplifting meditations, Dr Sacks reflects on and gives thanks for a life well lived, and expresses his thoughts on growing old, facing terminal cancer and reaching the end. I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and travelled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
Essays that capture the essence of what it means to have lived and to face death well -- Katie Law
Oliver Sacks was a physician and the bestselling author of many books, including Hallucinations, Musicophilia, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film). He lived in New York City, where he was a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire. He died in August 2015, at the age of eighty-two.