For more times than I care to remember. Each time I walked away saying the same thing, ‘why do we have that humane treatment for animals but we, ourselves, do not really have that choice?’
In life, we don’t know what we do not know. I tell you that because until Brittany Maynard placed a public face to make available this option of dying with dignity, I was truly unaware that it existed. I’m not here to argue whether Ms. Maynard’s decision was right or wrong to end her life and in many cases, I think many more should not argue it either. It is such a deep personal choice but I tell you what I now believe; that there is a difference between suicide and dying with dignity. I, me, myself feel that way and I am not here to say you have to feel that way at all. But Ms. Maynard has put a light on a discussion that needs to be had.
And for that, I cannot stop but respect that effort. In her last days she stated that (this she hopes this process) “…. becomes available to all Americans.” She could have done it alone, she could have done it without any notice whatsoever. She moved to Oregon to take advantage of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. In her youthful age of 29 she would be dying due to Stage 4 Glioblastoma—the options she was given were weighed and weighed heavily. She discussed it with her family. She thought long and hard. For her, it made sense to be in Oregon.
And this weekend, she took the cocktail of meds to end her life with her family around her. Her legacy is yet to be written; whether the rest of our country agrees with her on, at least, giving the choice to those people who want it in the other 45 states.
Again, I’m not here to debate this issue. My article today IS NOT about choosing to die or not, it is about fighting for something you believe in when you could just choose to do nothing. This story paints an absolutely crystal clear picture that when something is very important to someone, they will do what they must to make the world aware. They will ask the question that, in turn, each of us must ask of ourselves. In this case, in many cases, we will all be faced with the inevitable…..we will die. So the question is somewhat universal to all of us and hence, we all feel it is a question we should ask ourselves should/when the time ever occurs even if it is hypothetical……for now.
When it comes to diabetes, it does not impact everyone. It impacts many and even the many who have it make the decision to choose living with it and keep going. They do not want fanfare, they do not want to make it an issue…..they just want to live with what they have with as little interruption as possible. It’s the minority that get involved to do something. With 29 million, and including family members, it is indeed the minority who choose to get involved to make a difference to change this world.
Even during this, diabetes awareness month, I know many people who don’t want a month of awareness and not even a day of awareness……they want to just move on. It is in their lives and they deal with it and do not want any sort of ‘spotlight’ on what they deal with every day. As one person stated, “Seriously, do you think I want to be reminded. Wear blue for what? Blue circle for what? I need nothing to remind me what I deal with and what makes you think anyone with diabetes wants a reminder?”
The choice is theirs to make…….but that will change nothing when nothing needs changing.
We, as family members, want so many things for people with diabetes; from better management tools, to education, to a cure. We fight for advocacy and for voices to be heard. Some people with diabetes fight just as hard also. It’s an ongoing struggle to be heard, isn’t it?
But when someone feels there is a battle that needs notice, truly believes, they will do whatever it takes to be heard. In the hallowed halls of Congress, to the schools of education, to the public awareness, to even a dying young woman in Oregon.
When you believe in something so strongly, you fight for it; and in some cases even until your last dying breath. What right does anyone have to just do nothing when so many others fight so hard?
If anyone can answer THAT question, I would love to hear it. It’s Diabetes Awareness month……….what are you doing?
“It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world! Love and peace to you all.” – Brittany Maynard
Rest in Peace Brittany.
I am a diabetes dad.
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