Friday, November 7, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Death, wish?

I woke up some time this past weekend to realize a person had taken their own life. As a result of getting devastating news, Brittany Maynard decided death – at her own time and hands – was better than life with a terminal disease.

I am not sure how I feel about that.

I have a chronic disease. It works against my body daily. It is a very common one – when I told people, all said the same thing, “Aww, you can live with that.” Yes, I can – but I didn’t want to. Life was better without it – or without knowing about it. As I pondered my options, death was never one. Death never entered my mind. I am not sure if my son played a major role in it, but it simply was not an option.

Further, I have close friends who are living with terminal diseases. Daily, I see them walk a great path. Daily, they live each day to the fullest. They have moments with friends, lovers, and have made huge strides in their lives, the lives of their children and friends. Because of them, so many people are thriving. In a recent post, I wrote about a friend and her sister-circle of support. It amazes me and warms me that they continue, year after year, to bless her. In her strife, she smiles – most importantly, she has caused two in that circle to live their dreams. One authored a book, the other started her own business. Her disease created greatness.

As I read about and watched Brittany Maynard’s story, I was befuddled. At first I thought it was the media forcing us to buy into another white woman’s story . . . then I thought it was a story of someone gaining attention – for? Then I thought oh, she is dying. Then, she died. Per the reports, she died a quiet death; peaceful . . . she was surrounded by family and friends – love.

I hate I feel this way.

Everyone is calling her brave. Everyone is thinking of her move to end her life as courageous. Every media outlet I heard spoke highly of her; of her decision . . . and I am not sure if this is courageous or bravery.

Death is brutal. The people left here do not want anyone to die. It leaves us alone holding to memories. Death creates a void that is isn’t often easily filled . . . and it hurts. In living, we want others to live, too. I can’t imagine what it’s like to receive news of a sickness that will ultimately kill. I can’t pretend to know. I do know when I have heard it from family and friends, it is always a debilitating blow. It hurts. As I have watched loved ones melt away, fat turn to razor thin skin and bones, sunken cheeks – I know what cancer and other terminal diseases can do.

But I also know that suicide, dressed up and fancied as “The Right to Die” is nothing more than suicide. It is the ultimate sin – right? Once a person decides they can no longer take life anymore, they have become God . . . they have decided their end. And for me, that is not my decision. Taking life, we have decided that God is no more – He can no longer, heal, deliver or set free. She, Brittany Maynard, decided she was God – the giver and taker of life. I am not sure that is right.

Further, I have seen far too many miracles. The doctor has told several cancer patients I know they only have 6 months to live – and 10 years later, they are still here. None of us know why, exactly, but daily we are thankful. Others have been given three months to live – and didn’t make it two weeks.

I am not here to place blame or to point fingers or to judge her. Ultimately, like abortion, this was her decision. I can only wonder what magnificent thing the Creator could have done in those six months – what if He decided to heal her body and make her an example. Or what if He decided to allow her to live her purpose? In six months, we can discover a great deal. . .

The notion of death is fearful. Few are at peace with leaving this world; what we know and how we operate to transcend into another life. Few really know if they will be with Jesus in Heaven or Satan in Hell. Some don’t even believe in either – but death – usually is something we do not embrace or want to happen at any time. I guess the bravery others see is her courage to actually set a date, time, and take medicine to end the love she had.

Not me. The love would have kept me here (I think) to the very end . . . fighting, living and enjoying the people I would miss. The selfish me would have left, in leaving, not allowed them to love me to the end.

. . . As Free As I Wanna Be . . . 


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