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A Piece of My Mind
July 12, 2016

A Hand to Hold

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2016;316(2):147-148. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2972

The day my 85-year-old father died of metastatic renal cell cancer, I walked into his room in the nursing facility to find the sheets and blankets on the floor and him looking as though he meant to get out of the bed.

“I want to stand up,” he said.

“Dad, are you uncomfortable?”

He was gazing through the open slats of the window blinds, something he had not done for all the weeks he had been there.

“Is there grass outside? I just need to walk around.”