A neurosurgeon’s final message

Paul Kalinithi, writing to his infant daughter in his last op-ed before succumbing to lung cancer:

That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.

It’s a rare thing for us to write to the ones we love before we go, let alone to share such poignancy in order to touch others as well. We don’t write meaningfully to each other very much anymore, especially when it counts most. We could do better.

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