This is a book blog, I know, but today’s post has nothing to do with books. It’s much more serious than that.
Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about a woman named Brittany Maynard, a twenty-nine-year-old terminally-ill cancer patient who is planning to kill herself on November 1, rather than go through the suffering she will experience as her cancer worsens. I feel for this woman, and I am sorry that she’s had to go through so much suffering already, but that doesn’t change the fact that suicide is never the answer. What saddens me even more than this woman’s choice to kill herself is the flood of support she has received from the media and the general public. Yesterday, I went shopping and as I was leaving the store, I noticed a magazine with Brittany’s picture on the cover and a headline which read, “My Decision to Die.” It sounds silly, but I felt like running and hiding when I saw that magazine, as if there was some way to shut out the darkness that’s creeping in on us, a darkness that shows itself in a people that celebrates a woman’s decision to take her own life. I’m writing this post hoping that by some miracle, it might get to Brittany and help change her mind, but I’m also writing it to the people who approve of and encourage her plan to die. I want her and them to know that suicide is tragedy, not a victory, and that no matter how terrible life may seem, it’s not worth letting go of.
I’ve been hearing a lot about you lately and I can’t tell you how terrible it makes me feel to think of you choosing to end your life. Don’t you know how precious you are? How much your life counts for? Don’t you know that your life is a gift, not just to you, but to the whole world? I’ll be honest: I’ve never had cancer so I can’t know what you are going through, but I do know this: your life is much more precious than anything else in this world and it is not meant to be thrown away.
Brittany, I care about you and I want to see you have the best life you possibly can. I want you to show the world what bravery looks like by fighting this cancer and never giving up. I want you to inspire other people, not by your death, but by how you proved that what was in you was tougher than any disease. I want your husband and your family to spend as much time with you as possible, since to them, you are the most important thing in the world. That can’t happen if you kill yourself. I know the road ahead of you will be hard and painful, but please, believe that God has a purpose. Believe that He loves you, enough to give you life in the first place, enough to give up His Son for you, and enough to see you through whatever storms are up ahead. Believe that He’s put you here for a reason and please, live for that reason.
I hope to see you on November 2.