(1) The moments that left a lasting impression on me are when he realizes that he genuinely does not know people like when those he had only known superficially were the ones who wrote him the deepest


The moments that left a lasting impression on me are when he realizes that he genuinely does not know people like when those he had only known superficially were the ones who wrote him the deepest and most profound letters. Alternatively, the people he thought were in his inner circle were the ones to shy away from him and not address Bauby’s situation or the realities he was facing. Time is another concept that had a profound emotional effect, especially when you have no control over how you pass it. Bauby’s explanation of seasonal visits and Sundays shows how one can feel forgotten and unimportant. Knowing that he will have no visitors during the summer because it is a vacation season and how during the winter, even the scenery is cold and disconnected. Sundays when there is no break-in time with daily activities, no visitors, and knowing even the staff will not be a positive influence on this dreary and lonely day. Bauby’s description of his time spent with his children, specifically his son Theophile and imagining his son’s understanding affected and resonated with me and my Dad’s relationship during his death. During the last six months of my Dad’s life, I watched my Dad very rapidly go from this vibrant, robust, happy, intelligent, self-dependent man turn into an incoherent, severely dependent, unresponsive, feeble man who was unrecognizable. Seeing him and talking to him but not knowing what he was thinking and feeling made me question everything I knew or the things I still had to learn from him. I can see these same questions and understandings with Bauby and Theophile through their Father’s Day experience when they could not enjoy Bauby’s humor. Additionally, all the things that needed to be shared and now never would, including the man-to-man talk, happened the weekend of Bauby’s accident.


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, what an interesting read. I very much enjoyed the format of the book. There is another author, Donald Miller, that has a similar format to which he writes his books. For Donald’s books and this book that we were assigned, they both have an overarching story that the book is about and is told with mini excerpts of life that bounce around their personal timelines. 

I digress. For me, the main impression that I get from this book is how Jean-Dominique’s unique love of life, and passion for seeing things in a lively manner, made a world of difference in how he handled his “new life”. I caught myself at times, while reading, being challenged to appreciate the little things in life more. To go out and do more in my free time. Another impression that I got from the book was how much I do appreciate the candidness with which the author writes. The emotions he went through, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.


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