O'KELLY'S FINAL GIFTIt is not given to most of us to know the time and manner of our death; if it were, we might waste less time, and make more of what we have. Few of us, though, would be likely to make as much of our remaining time as the late Eugene O'Kelly. In the 100 days between his diagnosis with an inoperable brain tumor and his death on Sept. 10, 2005, the former chief executive of KPMG set out on a systematic plan in anticipation of his death, preparing his family, saying goodbye to hundreds of people, and, not incidentally, writing a revealing and inspirational book, Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life.
As you would expect from a man who worked his way up to the top of one of the world's biggest firms, the book is neither mawkish nor sentimental - O'Kelly made a mission of facing his death, and accomplished it with determination, focus and a no-nonsense attitude. Surprisingly, that approach yields no small amount of wisdom, and Chasing Daylight is the fruit of that - and O'Kelly's parting gift.
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