She Scheduled The Day She Will Die
The story of Brittany Maynard has been making it's way around the web for the last few days. I heard about it Monday, and it has been on my mind ever since.
Brittany, as her friends and family explain, is an adventure seeker, bright mind, hugely important member of her family and circle of friends, and she's also selected the day she will die.
That's the date because Brittany has scheduled it herself as the day she will pass away. She chose this date so that she may first celebrate her husband's birthday, then with family and friends around her, end her time here without the pain she knows is coming and the peace found in her own home.
That home is in Oregon, one of very few states that allow "assisted suicide," and Brittany wants to go on her own terms and not wait for the terminal brain cancer to inflict pain, suffering, and ultimately take her life.
I'm struggling with what to feel surrounding this issue. I totally understand that and admire her courage in dealing with the reality of her situation. I empathize with how difficult this process must be. I also feel that at the very core of this issue, she should be entitled to make this determination if she is of sound mind (she is).
Having said all that, it also breaks my heart. I know people who have fought and lost their battles with cancer and disease. I watched the cruelty of Alzheimer's disable the minds of those I have loved and prayed that God would see fit to end the suffering.
I very much have a Libertarian view how people choose to live their lives. Yet I also know those who have made miraculous recoveries - some that medicine can't even explain. I have watched amazing things happen as people progressed towards the end and some healing and beauty in the final moments.
Somehow, trying to reconcile both sides of this story just leave me feeling sad. For Brittany, her husband, her family, those who will miss her, and for the complexities that come with the simplicity of the fact that we all shall die.
Maybe it's just that she's so young, so vibrant, so "wrong" a picture for what is happening. Maybe it's the fear that this could happen to us and we would with wrestling with this issue too. Maybe it's just how little we can understand until we might be faced with this situation.
All I know for sure is she shouldn't be facing this.
It hasn't left my mind since I watched the video...and it has left me unsettled and sad.
You can read the entire story HERE.