My Right To Die With Dignity At Age 29…

“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.

brittany-maynard

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

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5 thoughts on “My Right To Die With Dignity At Age 29…

  1. I am so glad you posted this and chose to write about it some more.

    While heartbreaking, the video is just beautiful – inspiring and real. I’m very happy she has that relief of knowing she can go peacefully and when she chooses.

    It’s amazing and terrifying at the same time.

    • Thank you! I completely agree, I think it is so amazing yet so terrifying. I read though, that she is progressively getting a lot worse and is having numerous seizures a day now. I think since she seemed “so healthy” in the video (and since I am healthy – knock on wood-) it is hard to fathom – but I can completely see the comfort in ending life in peace before the seizures get worse, and everything gets worse, and eventually being non responsive and just waiting. But at the same time, it doesn’t make it any less terrifying.

  2. People commented on this article calling her “cowardly” and I just got red hot with anger. This is the LEAST cowardly decision ever. I don’t think people realize how much strength it took this woman to make this choice. How much strength her husband has to accept that choice and not only that but support her and be there every step of the way. I always would tell my parents that if I were to ever become a vegetable of any sort or wasn’t able to live my life that I wanted them to find a way to put me at peace.
    This is her decision. She doesn’t have to constantly live with the fear and anxiety of wondering when she’ll die. She got to take control of this situation and I think it’s wonderful there are ways to do that. As heartbreaking as it is for her and for her family at least she won’t have to suffer and live a lesser life.
    This article was so touching to me. Great post about it!

    • I so agree with this. I couldn’t imagine the strength her husband must have. I couldn’t imagine the feeling of knowing in (currently) 8 days, the person lying next to me will lye down in our bed and pass. I don’t think anything could prepare you for that.

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