Morrie is barely able to speak, though he manages to tell Mitch that he is his friend, a good soul, and that he loves him. Throughout their last conversation, Mitch holds Morrie's hand. Morrie cries, and Mitch comforts him by stroking his head. He tells Morrie that he will return next Tuesday, as he knows that Morrie is tired, and leaves without ever having turned on the tape recorder. He gives Morrie one last farewell kiss, and finally, he cries.
Morrie had died on Saturday morning, the fourth of November. In the two days prior to his death, he had slipped into a coma. Each of his family members had worked various time shifts to watch over him, though Morrie had waited until they had all gone to the kitchen for coffee to finally pass away. Mitch believes Morrie had died this way purposely, as not to scar any of his family members in the way that he had been scarred by each of his parents' tragic deaths. The funeral gathering is small, though many had wanted to attend. Mitch recalls Morrie's suggestion that he talk to him at his gravesite, which Mitch does during the funeral. To his surprise, it feels almost natural.
Mitch reflects on how he has changed since his final lessons with Morrie. He wishes he could reach back and shake sense into the jaded man he had been before his reunion with his old professor, but finds comfort in Morrie's lesson that he is ever-changing. Shortly after Morrie's death, Mitch is able to contact his brother, Peter, in Europe. The brothers have a long talk in which Mitch explains that he respects Peter's distance, but wants to maintain a relationship with him. He tells Peter that he does not want to lose him, and that he loves him. Only days later, he receives a good-humored fax message from Peter, an indication that their relationship will soon be rekindled.
Mitch reveals that the book itself was largely Morrie's idea, and that he had even invented the title himself. He and Mitch had referred to the book as their "final thesis." Mitch looks through boxes of Morrie's old college material and finds a final paper he had written. Mitch then speaks directly to his readers, probing them to consider the importance of teachers they have had in the past and the long-term influence they have had on the readers' lives.
Throughout Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie's growing dependency on oxygen has served as an indicator for Mitch to understand how close his professor is to his dying day. Morrie's dependency on the oxygen tank has increased steadily since the nights when he needed it only to regain his normal breathing pattern. Now that Morrie relies on the oxygen tubes in his nose to breathe at all, he knows that Morrie's day to leave him is frighteningly close, and cannot accept that soon, his dear friend will not be there, waiting in his study on Tuesday with a smile and a lesson on life. Mitch's newfound friendship with Morrie has served as the catalyst for many a revelation. He has reassessed his life and his priorities that drive it. Now, it is time fro Mitch to accept that Morrie is dying, and will not be with him on earth for much longer. Mitch's urge to yank the oxygen tube from Morrie's nose is a manifestation of his fear; he is afraid of what he will become without Morrie to guide him, and essentially wants to revert time to a day when Morrie was strong, cogent, and in good health.
But in time, Mitch realizes that to do this is impossible, and that he must accept death as Morrie has, with patience and courage. His realization comes when he hears Morrie speak about the pink hibiscus plant. Since the start of the book, the pink hibiscus plant has served as a symbol of life's fragility. The plant represents both life and death. As Morrie's condition deteriorates, the plant begins to wither and shed its leaves. The health of the hibiscus plant, in essence, keeps the pace with Morrie's physical deterioration, serving as an example of nature's intended life cycle for every life, be it man or hibiscus.