Death as a Reminder of How to Live

September 5, 2014 2:48 PM

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Death as a Reminder of How to Live

My mother's gentle voice woke me up, "Grandpa died." I sat up on the mattress at the foot of my grandfather's hospice bed. The light in the living room was soft. My uncle and aunt were already awake, standing at the side of his bed. My grandfather's long, slow breathing had quieted only a few moments before.

My mother and I had driven from upstate New York to Illinois on short notice when we heard that her father was in the last hours of his life. We both felt the stress and inconvenience of having to shuffle our schedules and make the 15-hour drive. I grumbled to myself about rescheduling clients and l...

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