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January 2005, Volume 35 Number 1 , p 22 - 22





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    I'm the father of two toddlers, so when I care for a terminally ill child, I can't help but identify with the parents. I think about them for a long time after the child's death. How does anyone deal with such a heartbreaking loss? —M.M., N.J.

    Figure. No caption available. Everyone copes differently, of course, but some parents find comfort in keeping the child's spirit alive for themselves and others. Your question reminds me of Brooke, who died in the pediatric unit following a courageous battle with leukemia, and her parents, who were determined to memorialize her struggle. Members of her church collected money for a commemorative plaque, which her parents wanted to place on the door of the room where she'd fought her disease so bravely. But hospital administrators wouldn't allow it, afraid that many similar requests might follow.

    The frustrated parents called me several times. Suddenly ...

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