There was a tragic story in the news about a young women named Brittany Maynard.
She was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and given six months to live.
There was no treatment that would save her life. She considered going to a hospice and spend her time there until the end and linger on as the rest of her body was still healthy.
But she decided to call her own fate, she uprooted from California to Oregon because Oregon is one of only five states in which death with dignity is authorized.
Death with dignity is an end of life option for mentally competent, terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six month or less to live. This option would enable her to request and receive a prescription from a physician that she could self -ingest to end her dying process when it becomes unbearable
After she had the prescription filled, she experienced a sense of relief as she could control her destiny and save herself and her family the torment of her pain and suffering.
I have found this story interesting as it is not so much of anticipating death but celebrating life and the people in it knowing your days are limited.
She explored Yellowstone national park with her husband, kayaked among Alaskan glaciers with her best friend, took a spectacular boat trip off the coast of Juneau with her mom. On October 21st several weeks before she died she also made a trip to the Grand Canyon with her mom and Stepfather.
She was able to explore her last days with the things she said she cherished the most, friends and nature.
On October 26thshe celebrated her husband’s Birthday with the family.
On November 1stBrittany Maynard passed away on her terms.
I could go into so many areas here such as ethics, religion and so on but what really struck me in this whole article is we all have a day that we will pass on but we do not know when, and because we do not know exactly when we put off things such as following a dream, going on a vacation, making a life change.
I think about my Mom who commuted to New York City from Long Island for twenty five years. She dragged her feet about retiring and when she did she was the happiest I have ever seen her. Unfortunately she died suddenly only after thirty five days after her retirement.
This should have been a lesson to me as I haven’t had a vacation in twelve years, I do the radio show, I have my comedy and musical career, and my play is scheduled to go into production in the new year, also add my day gig and my pending divorce.
One of the last things my Mom ironically said to me the morning of the day she died is that I was working myself to hard. That was twenty two years ago and I haven’t learned a damned thing.
Mrs. Maynard’s story struck me as she embraced the time that a lot of us take for granted.
For two thousand fifteen I am going to try to embrace Tim McGraw’s song, live like you were dying.
Rest in peace Brittany Maynard, and thank you for showing us how to live and die with dignity.