This is a courageous series. Sugg looks closely, with compassion and detachment, at a subject that is doubly difficult: death among children. We admired her unflinching yet sensitive examination of one child’s particular death and also her exploration of the issues around the care of dying children. Her central question is: Does pursuing a cure sometimes come at too great a cost?

The background she provides in looking at this question is important, and it turns what could be just a tear jerker into a substantive and informative piece. Still, there were times when we thought treating the background as a separate section would have let the narrative flow better. We also would have liked more scenes with close, detailed reporting that showed both R.J. and his mother even more intimately. But these are quibbles: This is a moving, finely told piece.

Read “The Most Difficult Journey,” by Diana K. Sugg

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