Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old newlywed who chose to end her life in her Oregon home on Saturday after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor earlier this year. Her story -- and I suppose, more importantly, her decision -- has stayed with me, affecting me in unexpected and surprising ways. That is why I'm writing this post. Please know that it does not reflect my political or religious views. And please know that I continue to send all my love and support to Brittany and her family. Brittany shared her story. This is mine.
I've been sitting here for awhile now, my hands poised over the keyboard, trying to come up with the perfect opening sentence. How do you start a post like this? I'm not exactly sure, so I suppose the most logical place to start would be the beginning. My beginning.
If you had asked me 11 years ago about assisted suicide, I would have said the issue was a simple one. No questions. No doubt in my mind. It was simple.
And then my father was diagnosed with sinus cancer and committed suicide about a month after finishing treatment. After that, things weren't so simple anymore.
And, sadly, I'm all too aware of the journey that lies ahead for them. It's not as simple as "her decision to die with dignity" because all the confusing, conflicting emotions I felt over the last decade? I wouldn't wish them on anyone. The water is murky, and sometimes, you don't even know where you're going. I've had family around me, but there were times where I'd never felt so alone.