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For the most part, there isn’t always a lot of grace shown at “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Seattle Grace Hospital. The show dabbles with the “diseases” of the human condition, those murky, dirty, selfish gray areas of torrid love affairs, ruthless competitiveness, the keeping of dark secrets, and cutting the LVAD wire keeping your boyfriend alive so that he can get the next heart on the list. But last night’s episode was different, offering a glimpse of real grace. We meet two young women who seem to have a dying devotion to one another. “From cradle to the grave,” they keep saying about their bond.

Unfortunately, one of the women has a massive uterine tumor and needs to have a radical hysterectomy immediately. When the doctor suggests she might want to call her parents, her friend begins to freak out, saying that she only needs her and that the situation is complicated and that neither of them speaks with their parents anymore. This friend is wild eyed, jumpy, and quite zealous, leading viewers to think that either something is not quite right with the situation or that she has been partaking of way too much Starbucks.

Unexpectedly, the parents of the dying girl arrive at the hospital and start asking questions in Pennsylvania Dutch. That’s right–the girl’s parents are Amish. Her friend continues to become even more agitated, accusing Izzy of calling them. We later find out that this young woman had been baptized but then decided to leave the Amish community, resulting in her being shunned by all of her family and friends. But the girl with the tumor refused to turn her back on her best friend and ran off to the big city to support her. However, having not yet been baptized, she has not been shunned.

During the operation, the surgeons discover that the tumor is, in fact, end-stage and inoperable. And we discover that the sick girl called her parents herself, wants to go back and spend her last days with the community, and be baptized. Her friend is inconsolable, knowing that her best friend will have to shun her; but, in the end, she accepts that letting her friend go back is the ultimate embodiment of “from the cradle to the grave” friendship.

In turn, the dying woman’s mother tells the heretofore fully shunned friend that she will let her mother know that she is alive and a good person. They hug and the friend leaves.

While not given as much screen time as the storyline about George becoming the “Love Doctor,” it affected every other storyline of the evening. George runs from the girl’s surgery after they determined she has end-stage cancer, mirroring the recent death of his father. And Izzy learns that she, too, must “let go” of best friend George in order for him to really be with Callie.

Seattle Grace is, after all, a teaching hospital.

— Posted by Ellen Leventry

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