Sometimes you just have to say things. And not be afraid of a reaction or consequence. No I am not talking about white hot anger saying things. But things that my not be to everyone's liking.
There's a young woman called Brittany. Who is terminally ill with the same cancer that my Dad had. Multiforme Glioblastoma. Highly aggressive brain cancer. Brittany has grade 4 cancer, again the same grade that my Dad had. Incurable and the worst stage you can have. I have walked the path that Brittany's loved ones will walk. I know.
Brittany & her husband have moved to a state in the US where she has access to a suicide pill. And she plans to take it on November 1 this year. In her interview she has researched the disease and has a very good, rational grasp on what the months ahead would look like for her and her family. And she is 100% right in what she says. I know. I have lived it.
Then there is a response.
From a christian lady called Kara Tippets with terminal breast cancer via Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience. The price is entitled "Dear Brittney: why we don;t have to be so afraid of dying and suffering that we choose suicide."
I have no doubt that Kara is well meaning and believes in what she is saying. And perhaps Brittany is scared of dying. But I can say that different cancers mean very different deaths. I am not sure what breast cancer is like at the end but I can tell you what brain cancer is like. It is vile.
Watching my Dad suffer for the last months of his life, robbed of speech, the freedom to go to the toilet when he chose, to eat more than liquid slop was horrific. I am a daughter and watching the life slowly ebb from by fathers body did not make my story beautiful. We eventually had to keep the grandchildren away as Poppa was so scary looking. We did not meet Dad in his last moments, his final weeks were torture and he went to heaven alone. And looking at him afterwards, his death was not peaceful. (Sorry if this is too much information)
I just think we need to be careful of what we say to people who are suffering. Brittany has a cruel and highly aggressive brain cancer. It is not breast cancer or any other cancer. She is not going to die in a way that is in any way shape or form, kind or tender.
Yes, I know that God's Grace was in my Dad's life and death. But if my Dad had wanted to take a (legal) suicide pill, I would have helped him. I would have done anything to spare him his suffering.
God does give life and God takes away. But my God is also incredibly graceful and loving. And I believe that he meets us where we are.
Brittany is now the poster child in the states for "death with dignity" movement and I am not sure how I feel about that. But I do know that I am less judgemental than I was 7 months ago and much more merciful. And I would have done anything, anything to spare my Dad even a moment of what he went through.
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