“I’m dying, but I’m choosing to suffer less…I believe this choice is ethical, and what makes it ethical is it is a choice” – Brittany Maynard
I read this article on Monday on People’s website about Brittany Maynard and that (as of today) has 21 days to live as her decision to end her life with dignity at age 29 will be on November 1. She has been on my mind for the past week after reading the article and watching the moving video discussing her decision.
She was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor and was given a mere 6 months at best to live; so she and her husband – after carefully thinking it out – decided to move to Oregon which allow patients to die with dignity. Essentially her doctor prescribed her with a pill which will allow her to fall asleep and then pass away peacefully, painlessly, and surrounded by the people she loves most, in the bedroom she shares with her husband.
Reading her story I couldn’t help but throw myself into her situation. She is only 7 years older than I am; 2 years older than Jamie. I don’t know if I would be able to display the same amount of courage and grace that she has. I do not for one second believe that she ‘doesn’t want to live’ or that she is being ‘selfish’ or that this is a ‘suicide’. I think when faced with something so frightening she was able to pick the option which so many people wish they would have been able to pick. That being said, I don’t think it makes it any easier, or any less terrifying.
Death is not something which bothers me. I do not fear death. It is inevitable. But saying that, it does not make it easier. I could not imagine going into a doctors appointment and being told this bright future which you are looking forward to, is essentially crashing down and have 6 months to do whatever it is you can do.
The whole story just put everything into perspective. She knows she has 24 days left on this earth and is making the absolute best of it – she is not wasting a minute of it. She knows, in less than a month she will be gone. I spent the day on the couch, I did nothing. I “wasted” a day. The truth it, in all likelihood, I probably do have more than a month to live, but in reality I can get hit by a bus tomorrow and be killed. If anything, I believe her story is a reminder to live, you don’t have to be told you have X amount of days left for you to soak in any amount of life you have.
I applaud her.
I admire her strength. Her husband’s strength.
I pray she has comfort. I pray her family has comfort.
I thank her for reminding me to live.
I thank her for displaying her strength.
I am not quite sure how to end this. I am beyond moved.
And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now