Love Letter: What We Do in the End

This week’s staggering Modern Love essay, “A Last Act of Intimate Kindness,” reminded me of a powerful Tiny Love Story we published years ago, “What We Do in the End”:

What We Do in the End

“Your sister is in the hospital,” my mother said over the phone. “You need to come home.” I had no idea that Jenny, a 44-year-old suburban mother, would be dead from prescription opioids just six days later. Although blindsided by her fatal addiction, I was grateful for those final days in the hospital: feeding my sister, shuffling her to the bathroom, singing show tunes (her eyes always closed) and telling her I loved her. That’s what we do in the end: the messy, tender, heartbreaking things. We are our best selves, even if it’s too late. — Kelly O’Connor

Today’s Modern Love essay echoes that last line: “We are our best selves, even if it’s too late.” When Michelle Friedman learned that her estranged brother was dying, she decided to face old wounds and regrets, and be there for her brother in his final hours.

Her essay is devastating but, in many ways, inspiring. You can read it below.

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