Death is inevitable. For most of us, death will come in old age, after we have had years to enjoy our family, friends, a successful career and hopefully traveled to a few favorite destinations. For others, such as Brittany Maynard, death came at a young age. But on her own terms and in her own way.
Brittany’s decision to end her life with the aid of medicine has created a lot of controversy.
There have been some who consider it suicide. Brittany disagreed with that opinion. She felt it was, “highly inflammatory and just incorrect, because I am already dying from cancer. I don’t want to die. People who commit suicide are typically people who want to die.”
Others have expressed their opinion that we don’t get to decide when we die. They feel that God makes the decision if we live or die with pain, if we live to be 20 or 100 years old or if we just pass quietly in the night. But didn’t God also give us the power of choice?
Most people that I have talked to and the majority of comments that I have read, agree with Brittany and feel she did the right thing. She was courageous and she left this life with dignity, compassion and no regrets. Instead of enduring horrible seizures, extreme pain and suffering, and at times not recognizing family or friends, she decided to take her death into her own hands. Is it so wrong to spare yourself and loved ones from enduring such pain? Especially when the inevitable is death? How many of us would love the opportunity to leave this world the same way? The last few weeks of her life, she spent quality time with the people she loved the most, traveling and checking things off of her bucket list.
I’m not sure how I feel about her choice. God never promised us we would go through life without suffering. And what if a miraculous cure was found for the brain tumor next week, yet she threw the towel in too early?
It’s really not for me or any of us to judge. But, Brittany left an impression on me. She did exactly what I hope to do…live each day to the fullest and as it’s your last. Surround yourself with loved ones.
“Pay attention to the relationships you cultivate in life, and do not miss the chance to tell those you love how very much you love them.”
May you rest in peace Brittany Maynard. You were a strong and courageous woman who has made quite an impact on millions of people around the world.