Meet the Fatalities: Long Sickness, Mors

In THE LAST GHOST, the Death that comes to end a person's life depends on the nature of the cause of death. There are 16 deaths, called Fatalities, in the book. Over the next 16 days, we will meet one Fatality each day, and discuss which heartbreaking fictional character death belongs with each character.

Meet the Seventh Fatality, Long Sickness, Commonly Referred to as Mors

"Humans started to anticipate death, and that’s how the humans created the expected deaths. A person could eat a poisonous plant, and then linger on for months—years. We couldn’t certainly send Sudden Sickness to that person, since they had been dying for so long, everyone had gotten a chance to say goodbye, and there would be no surprise in their demise. That’s where the Expected deaths come in—a death for long sickness, a death for exposure or starvation, a death for war, and lastly a death for old age. Did you know you can your life completely safe and healthy, and still die?”--The Last Ghost

Mors is one of the original ten deaths, but is the first of the expected deaths. He is also the mentor to Kali, and is the death of long sickness. Long sickness is typically chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, COPD, or AIDS.

There are some in the younger generation of deaths who also handle cases that could be Mors. In general, he can do their cases, but they can’t do all of his.


Long sickness is a common cause of death in fiction, and is also the death of some of the most beloved characters.

When I was growing up, there would be a literal wait list to take Lurlene McDaniel books out of the library, and weep over teens dying either of cancer or unexpectedly. I also think that she personally did a lot to encourage people to become organ donors, as that decision was often heavily featured.

One that I think I felt actual grief over was Jamie Sullivan in A Walk To Remember by Nicolas Sparks.

“A sad smile crossed her face, and I knew right then what she was trying to tell me. Her eyes never left mine as she finally said the words that numbed my soul.I'm dying, Landon.” -A Walk to Remember, Nicolas Sparks

I saw the movie before I read the book. But I saw the movie, in the theatres on a double date with one of my first ever boyfriends, and I cried my little heart out. Perhaps because she was also named Jamie, had brown hair, was pious and kind and I over identified with her, or perhaps because I was leaning in to the heart ache (being 15), or perhaps because its really sad when young people die of cancer, but boy—I think I have faced actual tragedies with a stiffer upper lip than that film.

We will visit some of the other more specific sicknesses with some of the other fatalities, but who else do you think would have received Mors? Angel in Rent? Who else? Which Fatality are you most excited to meet?