With the help of a loved one, a family finds what is essential in the end

Months after his son told him he was HIV-positive, he received an HIV-positive infusion. He swore his wife to secrecy.

In a given week at the height of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, Frank Ostaseski, the founding director of the Zen Hospice Project, would help as many as 30 people through their final hours. At a recent conference, Ostaseski recalled how he metabolized his grief during that span.

Meditation helped him cope, as did volunteering to hold newborns at a nearby maternity ward. He tried a chiropractor. “I’d walk in his office and he’d say, ‘Where should we touch today, Frank?’ And I’d say, ‘Oh, here,

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