A simple thank-you card to the staff at Massachusetts' CHA Cambridge Hospital wasn't enough for writer Peter DeMarco after his 34-year-old wife, Laura Levis, died last month following a severe asthma attack, per Cosmopolitan. Instead, he penned a heartfelt missive to them that was published in Thursday's New York Times. He explains how it's easy for him to remember each and every name of the hospital's employees who helped care for his dying wife—from the doctors and nurses to the social workers and cleaning staff—because "how could I not." He explains how workers went out of their way with "professionalism, and kindness, and dignity," talking to her even though she may not have been able to hear them, and extending their kindness to her parents.
DeMarco also notes how the staff tended to him personally, including respectfully going about their jobs as he wept next to his wife's bed, asking him if he needed food or someone to talk to, and even turning a blind eye when he smuggled in their cat to give his wife "one final lick." "How many times did you hug me and console me when I fell to pieces? … How many times did you deliver bad news with compassionate words, and sadness in your eyes?" He also movingly thanks nurses for what he calls his "last tender moment as a husband and a wife": a single hour lying next to her in bed before her organ donor surgery. "I will remember that last hour together for the rest of my life." (Read his touching piece in the New York Times.)