The mechanics of dressing a dead newborn are basic. The little girl’s face is white, lacking the flushed cheeks normally present in a newborn. She has a full head of hair and a button-type nose that makes you want to give her Eskimo kisses. Someone, probably a nurse, has put her in a onesie with yellow tulips embroidered along its Peter Pan collar. Livor mortis, but not rigor mortis had set in; the baby’s fingers are pliant and cold when I hook my finger into hers.
The author of "How We Die" has died at age 83. Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, who wrote that "the dignity we seek in dying must be found in the dignity with which we have lived our lives," passed away at home Monday. In his book, he said he would like to die peacefully, "surrounded by the people and the things I love."