Learning to Live While Dying: Bruce Kramer talks about his upcoming book 'We know How This Ends'
Bruce Kramer is feeling tired the day I visit him at his condo near Minneapolis. He sits in his wheelchair, head propped up, a machine wheezing as it blows air in and out of his lungs through a tube in his nose.
On the surface, things look bad, and in fact, they are. Kramer is dying. At 58, the former college dean struggles through the final stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed four years ago, and he doesn’t sugarcoat the devastation he has experienced.
Yet what comes through most powerfully in Kramer’s story, detailed in an upcoming book, is not the pain but the quiet surge of gratitude and joy he has discovered in confronting his imminent death.
“I found that by embracing it, it actually has become, in many ways, a friend,” Kramer says. “When you embrace your death, it just opens up vistas for you. Things mean much more to you because you know they’re passing.”