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The Arts and Medicine
October 18, 2016

Two Gratitudes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
JAMA. 2016;316(15):1524-1525. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12792

A few weeks ago I sat down on the subway for my usual ride to work and overheard, over the course of a few stops, a conversation between a young mother and her daughter, who looked to be 4 or 5 years old. They were talking about death. “You mean,” the little girl was saying, “that when you’re a grandma, Grandma will be dead?”

“Yes, probably,” the mother said.

“And one day you’ll be dead too?”

“Well, yes. But it’s okay. I’ll live on in your heart.” She put a hand over her own heart and smiled lovingly at her daughter.

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