This is an incredibly difficult post for me to write as I have taken this case personally and identified with it, though I’ve attempted to not do so. I am saddened, angered, disheartened and confused on so many different levels, but Brittany Maynard has ended her life.
It has been nearly five months since I was diagnosed with Stage III hepatocellular carcinoma. It is now stage IV-A. I have undergone treatment after surgery after treatment, but I have never considered quitting. I cannot judge her as I know not the pain through which she was living, but I know that the very real possibility of dying has been one of such finality that even thinking of it causes breakdowns of immense proportions.
I think of my kids and my support system – the other half of my heart, Matt, my beloved Jonn, Kate, others who have consistently been there for me – and I can’t fathom leaving them and not taking advantage of every second because there will never be enough time. Choosing to not have more time just does not compute, nor does allowing my loved ones to see me give up.
I won’t judge Mrs. Maynard as only she could possibly know her reasons, but a quote of hers sticks out in my mind.
The logical mad scientist part of my brain wants to scream that not wanting to die doesn’t negate the fact that taking your own life is in fact suicide. I believe that may have been her way of convincing herself that what she was going to do wasn’t going to be considered cowardly or giving up, but my own mind is just incapable of understanding.
I can’t compare my own to her situation because they are not the same, but it wounds me that a soul would feel there’s nothing more for them in this life, that the alternative is the better choice. I pray that she finds peace in the ether, and even more so, that her family and loved ones have peace themselves.
There have been but three occasions in my life where I have felt true pain, helplessness, and grief, and those were the three situations involving two of…