A hospital employee offers a free and unique service for dying patients and their families. She will cast the patient's hand, often entwined with the hand of a loved one.
When a family member passes away, it is natural to look for some way to preserve his or her memory. A normal way of doing this is to keep some piece of personal property that is meaningfully connected to the deceased.
For example, a daughter might preserve and wear her deceased mother's favorite bracelet or necklace. Others preserve their memories through photographs or even paintings.
There is another art form that can also be used as a memorial, as The New York Times reports in "Hands of the Dying Offer a Unique Memorial."
An administrative assistant at the Baylor University Medical Center in Texas will create a custom cast of the hand of any dying patient, who requests it. The casts are specific to the patient and detailed enough to include even the smallest scars and veins. The casts are normally made with the patient holding the hand of another family member.
A husband might have a cast of his hand holding that of his wife, for example. The administrative assistant does not charge anyone for this service.
A similar service is obviously not available everywhere. However, many elderly people and their families might want to use it as inspiration to find their own unique ways to be memorialized.
Reference: New York Times (March 7, 2017) "Hands of the Dying Offer a Unique Memorial