“The families who gather around their beloved—their beloved whose sheared heads contained battered brains—do not usually recognize the full significance, either. They see the past, the accumulation of memories, the freshly felt love, all represented by the body before them. I see the possible futures, the breathing machines connected through a surgical opening in the neck, the pasty liquid dripping in through a hole in the belly, the possible long, painful, and only partial recovery—or, sometimes more likely, no return at all of the person they remember.”

When Breath Becomes Air; Paul Kalanithi, MD

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