October 7, 2014

Life & Death

If you haven't seen this article and accompanying video on refinery29 or social media, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes and check it out:


For those who don't have time to read/watch, here's a quick recap: After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Brittany Maynard has chosen to end her own life next month through Oregon's death-with-dignity laws. When I first came upon her story last night, I couldn't help but immediately turn to my keyboard to work through all the feelings I had. At first, I was so terribly sad - for this woman, for her husband, for her family and friends. My sadness was followed by anger. Anger that cancer and terrible diseases even exist.

The more I think about it, though, the more I am encouraged by Brittany and her story. She's my age and still a newlywed, which made me pause for a moment. I had to stop and take a minute to think about how I'm living my life, which could change just as quickly as her's did. I can't even fathom her scenario and dealing with the physical and emotional pain of dealing with a disease like that every day. While I'm sure many people would be (and are) appalled by her choice to ultimately take her own life, I'm impressed.

The way Brittany speaks about traveling and adventure inspire me to want to quit waiting around for the perfect time to take a vacation. Ultimately, her story reminds me that turning 30 isn't scary, it's an opportunity that many people will never receive. Given the same situation, I'm unsure I would be able to make the decision to end my own life. Her attitude toward her life is something worth remembering - that we all have a limited amount of days left on this earth, and that we should live them out in a way that fulfill us.


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