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Vivian Rothstein describes the painful-and doubt-ridden-battle to let her mother die from her self-inflicted wounds. The Boston Review is on 617 253 3642

Boston review

Summer 1997

On national pro-choice day my mother put a gun to her head. I am leaving for a demonstration (dressed in suffragist white) when I get the call. I rush to my mother’s place where police and paramedics are crowding her single room. A trickle of blood runs from her left temple to her ear, but her vital signs are strong. I can barely stand as she is taken out on a stretcher.

At UCLA’s emergency room the police bring in an envelope my mother left on her dresser. In it are a goodbye note,…

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