There are themes in life that everyone goes through at one point or another. These universal themes, however, are experienced in different orders. As in In the Name of the Father, sometimes it takes the death of a loved one to bring meaning to one's life. In the case of The Death of Ivan Ilyitch, though, it is his own death that is dealt with.
Ivan lived a pleasant life, attending law school, being in
showed first 75 words of 917 total
showed last 75 words of 917 total
life. He finally "sees the light" and accepts that it's still possible to fix what was wrong. His woeful feelings towards his family were an apology for his lack of participation in their lives. Once he redeems himself in this manner, he is unburdened from ill thought of his past life. He is in a state of acknowledgment of death's arrival and accepts it in a positive manner, transforming him into a Stoic at last.