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In the New Yorker this week, there’s a heartbreaking piece called “The Aquarium” by Aleksander Hemon. His baby, Isabel, was diagnosed with a rare, fast-growing brain tumor at 9 months and died within a year. It is profound, honest and raw. Here are two excerpts:

" After I told my tax accountant that Isabel was gravely ill, he said, ‘But you look good, and that’s the most important thing.'"

" Without Isabel, Teri and I were left with oceans of love we could no longer dispense; we found ourselves with an excess of time that we used to devote to her; we had to live in a void that could be filled only by Isabel. Her indelible absence is now an organ in our bodies, whose sole function is a continuous secretion of sorrow."

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.