Tag Archives: death with dignity movement

I can’t stop thinking about this…

4 Nov




I was saddened to hear the news of Brittany Maynard’s passing over the weekend. In case you haven’t heard about her story, she is the woman who recently become the face of the death with dignity movement after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer. Her story really struck a chord with me, not only because we were close in age and both newlyweds but also because two people in my family who I loved very much passed away from the same form of brain cancer and let me tell you, it is a horrible way to die.

While I know that the ‘death with dignity’ act, which advocates that terminally ill patients be allowed to receive medication that will let them die on their own terms is controversial and not the kind of topic I normally discuss on my blog, I still felt compelled to share about it. I feel strongly that people have the right to make this decision for themselves when faced with such a bleak sentence. I don’t think of it as suicide. I think Brittany summed it up perfectly…”They try to mix it up with suicide and that’s really unfair, because there’s not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying.”

I can’t even imagine having to make that choice but I also can’t imagine spending my last few months on earth withering away in pain. I think her choice was incredibly brave. After following her story this past month I of course knew how it would end but I was still upset when I found out that she had passed and was surprised to find myself crying. It felt funny to cry about the loss of someone I’ve never even met. But something about her story cracked my heart wide open. It reminded me how fragile life is. I was overcome with gratitude that I got another day. Another day to laugh. Another day to cry. Another day to experience it all, to have my heart cracked wide open all over again.

This was the statement that she released shortly before her passing…

“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more,” she wrote on Facebook. “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

I loved the last two lines…spread good energy. Pay it forward 


Did you guys follow along with this story the past month? Would love to hear your thoughts.