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Goodbye Mr Chips... or Is It Hello?

Howard S. Rubenstein, MD
JAMA. 1986;255(24):3367. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370240037029.
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To the Editor.—  Last December, just before the holidays, one of my spritely 90-year-old patients hand delivered to my secretary an envelope addressed to me and then briskly departed. My secretary was as puzzled as I that the envelope held an uncanceled stamp and had already been ripped open. The message within read:Just a line to say I'm living that I'm not among the dead, though I'm getting more forgetful, more mixed up within my head.Sometimes I can't remember, standing at the foot of the stair, if I must go up for something or if I just came down from there.And before the refrigerator so often, my poor mind all filled with doubt, have I just put food away or have I come to take some out?No matter...Just remember I do love you and see you, oh so clear. But now it's time to mail


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