Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time To Go

"It was her time to go."

Months ago with much help from the media, society decided to praise, bash, admire, and judge the young terminal brain cancer patient, Brittany Maynard, when she publicly shared her plan to end her life last fall. Many, myself included, praised Brittany for her courage in sharing such a controversial message to the world filled with varying (intense) opinions. Many, myself included, expressed admiration that Brittany could be so brave to end her own life, before cancer ended it for her. There was no getting better for Brittany. On October 9, 2014, Brittany said, "I'm not killing myself. Cancer is killing me. I'm choosing to go in a way that is less suffering and less pain."

I accepted it.

Fast forward to December 20, 2014. My phone rings, on Sunday morning around 8:20 AM, it's my boss. I could hear her crying before I put the phone up to my ear. My loyal co-worker and kind friend made the decision to end her life. I don't know why.

It's been almost 4 weeks and I am still having a hard time accepting it.

With Brittany, a stranger, I could understand why she would make the decision to end her life. She had researched her options, and the fact was, the cancer was going to take her slowly, painfully and surely. There was no one that could save her. Cancer was killing her. Brittany took control away from the cancer and died "with dignity" as she wished.

With Angela, I keep asking why. What did we miss? What made her pull the trigger? Why didn't we see she was in such pain? I know that is not fair of me to think. I know that mental illness and depression is a real thing, a thing like cancer, you sometimes can't see. But why can't I accept her death like I can Brittany's? That is not fair to Angela. It is selfish of me to need a reason why my lovely friend, the girl who was always ready to dance and laugh, ended her life. Quite frankly, why she decided to do it is none of my business. She had battles she kept perfectly hidden and she made a decision that we don't have to understand. Maybe, like Brittany, she decided to go in a way that was less suffering and less pain.

Brittany Maynard's husband said in the interview with TODAY, that Brittany spent her last day doing things she loved. According to my co-workers family, that's how Angela spent her last day. She went shopping with her mom, had dinner with her family, and watched a movie. Then, like Brittany, it was Angela's time to go.

It was her time to go...

And we have to accept it.

*Please, please, please, if you need help, please reach out to someone. 

There IS someone who will miss you tomorrow if you are no longer here.