What I do want to talk about though is the opportunities we are given to embrace our process. I think there is a lot to be said for walking through a process, whatever it may entail, to the end result. I think that awful devastation can be used for good if we can open ourselves up to the process. We can find so much beauty there if we can accept our journey for what it is. I have seen some beautiful things transpire at the end of life that would be missed out on altogether if we all decided to take matters into our own hands.
This is not a political post. I am not going to argue the right to choose or whether it is morally right or wrong. We could get into all sorts of grey areas....if one refuses chemotherapy because it will rob them of their quality of life are they in essence choosing to end their lives? I don't know....I know that there comes a time when each individual gets to say "enough" and allow nature to run its course. That is different than taking a deadly cocktail at the time we assume to be best though.
I have been privileged to walk with many families through to the end of the life of their loved one. I have watched families riddled with hurt and harsh words and actions, come together to care for the culprit of the hurt. I have watched that culprit soften and make amends. I have watched adult children and grand children rise to the occasion and take care of some of the most private needs of their loved ones.....and I have watched hearts change. To be the servant and to allow ones self to be served brings about healing and humility. It breaks down those hard walls that we erect to protect ourselves, it gives us an opportunity to be vulnerable, unprotected, and real. There is something so profoundly beautiful about walking with someone as they journey to the other side. If we can open our eyes and *see* the process for the gift it is.
I think that just as we walk through our journey's here with our adult children, we are taught to let go, to trust, to have faith in a power greater than ourselves and to embrace the process, whatever the outcome may be. We all have circumstances that are difficult and challenging and painful... but often good comes from the bad, when we can step back and allow it to unfold. We just don't know what changes, what awareness's and awakenings, could have happened in Brittany's parent's hearts, in her husband's heart, iin her own heart, because she took the opportunity away.
When one grasps at control, there is almost always fear. She took control and did it her own way. And that was certainly her right....but its counter to what we all work so hard at learning here on our journey's.....let go and let God. Surrender our will. Acceptance. It seems she usurped God's power and will in her life and took matters into her own hands, despite whatever plans He may have had for she and her family. When we choose to assert our will, God steps aside and allows us that freedom. I believe that His grace is sufficient for us....but just like the times I jump into action and use my best thinking and try to figure out the best solution....I end up robbing myself of God's perfect plan that would affect the bigger and more far reaching picture. My thinking is limited. Its finite, and when I am in control/figure-out mode, I am almost always afraid. Fear is not a good captain of my ship.
About a year ago I watched the documentary, "How to Die in Oregon." I can certainly understand *why* some would choose this and with my work it really made me think about how our care might be different if this was an option here in Ca. I have had many terminal patients, including my own mother, who had moments of wishing for a quick end, but those moments passed and they were able to be kept comfortable, and loved, and cared for until their end came naturally. Their deaths followed a natural rhythm until finally their lives had ended.
Below is a video of a family, Deidrea and T.K. Laux who found out at 20 weeks in utero that their son had trisomy 13....a genetic abnormality. They chose to allow the pregnancy to continue until its natural end and allow their son to live until his natural time of death. Its a beautiful yet heartbreaking tribute to acceptance of what we are given and walking courageously through to the end.
I know spiritually what I believe would be right for me. I know in my gut, which is how I make a lot of my big decisions, what would feel right for me. I am not judging Brittany's decision. For her it may have felt like it was the absolute right thing to do. I think that there is a lot to consider here though. Its taking control at the deepest and the very basic of levels.
This is just me processing this recent and very sad passing of a beautiful and intelligent young woman who obviously gave a lot of thought to her decision.