In the summer of 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a small cabin on Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. There he stayed for two years and three months. “I went to the woods,” he wrote, “because I wished to live deliberately, to confront only the essential facts of life, to see if I could learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived … I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdy and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life.” Thoreau died of tuberculosis at age 45. During the months of what we would now call “terminal illness,”…
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