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Monday, November 3, 2014

Brittany Maynard's choice to die - My feelings on the suicide aspect.

Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old young woman with terminally ill brain cancer, ended her own life on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.
Her choice. Her terms.  Her death with dignity.

There are so many sides of this coin that I'm not even sure where I fall anymore.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel, someone will disagree with me.  I don't care.

I've been someone who advocates AGAINST suicide.  I don't believe in suicide for any reason.

Yes, I know this was different - but is it?

For YEARS I struggled with the suicides of my father and my brother.  Being raised Catholic, I was taught that suicide meant that you gave up on your faith in God, and you were going to spend eternity in hell.  For me, that shook me on more levels than I care to admit.  It's one of the things that shredded me for years, and eventually took me away from the Catholic church.  Well, that and other reasons...
On the Christian, Biblical level - I believe God forgives.  I believe that in the 11th hour even the biggest sinner can be forgiven and go to Heaven.

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the suicide itself.  Is it really OK to choose to die?

Yes, it is her "right" to die with dignity.  Yes, she wanted to die before her body gave in to all of the awfulness that lay ahead with the severe diagnosis she was presented.  Yes, it was a really awful future for her and her family, from what she was told.  But WHAT IF what she was told was wrong?

This situation makes me think of my brave friends who've fought cancer.  My beautiful, wonderful friends who bravely took cancer on and beat it!  I think about those still struggling to fighting it - because they want to be here.  For what ever reason, they WANT to be here.  They WANT to live. They WANT to fight it to stay alive.  They do / did not WANT to die!  I remain in awe of them.

Brittany chose to die, and I don't understand that.

Was it bravery?  Was it fear?  What if she was wrong?  What if there was more?  What if the doctors were wrong?  What if, just what if  3 days from now - they find the defining element that will cure her - save her from the awful that she's faced.  What if?  What if?  What if?

That is what I struggle with.  The what if.

Being a suicide survivor, this would never have been my choice.  I would have fought, if not for myself - for my children, for my husband, for my friends - FOR ME.  I would have fought to live.  I would have soaked up every single second, the good, the bad and the ugly.  THAT would be my choice.

I genuinely believe we all have a plan for our lives.  Whether or not you believe in God or a higher power - most people DO believe there is a plan for their life.  What if her plan was NOT to die, but to live?  Maybe even to live and be an example of greatness in some way.

That chance is gone forever.

So many people fight daily to be alive, to live every single second.

I am truly sorry Mrs. Maynard has left this planet.  I don't condemn her choice.  It was, her choice.
I wish her and her family much peace.

I know how it feels to be left behind with the questions and no answers.

I know that somewhere in their hearts they wish she were still there - even with the awful cancer that was consuming her.

You may agree with me.  You may disagree with me.  That's OK.

You'll think about this, and when you do - think about what choice you'd make.  Think about why you'd make that choice and then wonder...

What IF?

Rest in peace, Brittany.
I wish your family much love and peace.
Thank you for reading my blog.



  1. I can see why people would want it to be their own choice. I personally don't think I would make that choice. I could not say goodbye and turn out the lights. I am not afraid of dying, BUT I am afraid of the pain my family members would be in if I died. But maybe if it was actually happening, and I couldn't take any more pain, I would want to.


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