Today, I am sad. I just read that, as planned, Brittany Maynard ended her life on Saturday, and my heart hurts. My heart hurts for her family who must bury a once vibrant wife and daughter who suffered immensely from her terminal illness and chose to end her life of pain rather than embrace a life of uncertainty and eventual death.
My heart hurts for all of us who saw the beauty in Brittany’s life, and though we can’t understand the level of pain and fear she must have felt, we ourselves cling to life until God calls us home.
Brittany’s choice also reminds some of us of choices our own loved ones made when their illnesses seemed never ending – seemed to them to be terminal. So rather than face another day of pain, another day of darkness, they too chose their last day, leaving us with eternal questions. Leaving us to ask why? And although I have been led by my own angel mom to better understand the why – and to never judge – I still have a difficult time understanding why a beautiful girl who loved life chose death when every cell in my own body cries out to preserve life.
How many moments of joy and moments of sorrow did she miss? How many sunrises and sunsets? How many days of sunshine? And days of rain? Life is made up of both.
And while to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die – let us not hasten death. Let us embrace each season. Let us embrace life for as long as God intends.