One of the most important things clinicians can do is help patients and their families deal with impending death. Despite its importance, this part of medical care is hardly covered in medical training. Clinicians have to learn this on their own. One of the most powerful ways to find out what it’s like is to go through it yourself. Martin F. Shapiro, MD, professor of medicine at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine, describes along with his sister, Lori Shapiro, what they went through in dealing with their mother’s death. Dr Shapiro relates what he learned to more effectively manage his patients and their families in coping with the end of life.