Dear Brittany Maynard,
I am so sorry; sorry you are terminal, sorry you are without hope, sorry you have given up, but most of all, sorry others have given up on you.
When someone is suicidal, you don’t encourage them to jump. Instead, you wrap your arms around them, tell them you love them and ask them to hang in there. I am sorry that so few have tried to intervene. I guess that they believe you are better off dead, or are afraid that it would be selfish to ask you to suffer on their behalf.
Brittany, there is more to life than the absence of pain. You still have the opportunity to love, to be loved. You are not an island. Your life and your death will impact others.
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The entire country has heard of you now, but what is your message? What are you telling terminal children? Children who are suffering, who have little time left. They still hope, but they see others calling you a hero, when all that you have done is given up. It is not heroic to give up.
Perhaps you think that you are sacrificing yourself, for those you love, and you find meaning in that. You don’t want to burden them with medical debt, or inconvenience them with your illness. I can respect that, but again think you are missing the point. Those who love, who unconditionally love you, would be grateful to suffer for you, if you would only ask. It is a strange, but true phenomenon, “that it is better to give than receive.”
You are stealing their opportunity to show you unconditional love.
Perhaps you can’t understand this, because you have never had children. I will try to explain. Babies are very needy, and it would appear that they have nothing to offer. You have to feed them, and burp them, and even wipe their bottoms. Yet somehow, that experience is wonderful.
For most people, it is the first taste of unconditional love, and it transforms our lives. Your sickness offers others an opportunity to give and experience unconditional love.
I imagine, the same family that supports your decision to commit suicide is doing so because they are hurting deeply, and would not dare ask you to suffer, but I would also imagine that the same parents who were over-joyed to hold you as a helpless baby would again, with the same tender heart, hold you as a helpless woman.
Because no matter how old you are, you are still their baby girl.
I can’t speak for your husband, but I know that if my wife was in your shoes, I would count every additional day with her as a blessing. She is my world, and I wouldn’t want to give her up, even a day early.
If you continue on, you will likely burden your husband, but every husband has a secret hero complex. We want to suffer for our wives; we look for opportunities to play the hero. Let your husband be your hero, let him serve you, if not for your sake, then for his.
Nobody likes a quitter Brittany, except for those pushing euthanasia. They aren’t your friends, and they don’t love you. They prefer to talk despairing people like you off the edge, because they don’t value your life. Don’t give into their lies. If not for your sake, then for the millions of others who are suffering like you.
There is something worse than pain, it’s despair.
When I was in the military, I went through an advanced course called SERE. SERE teaches soldiers how to survive as prisoners of war, in the midst of great suffering and death.
I remember a Vietnam War POW telling us about great suffering – guys having their arms pulled out of sockets, extreme sleep deprivations, starvation, freezing, unendurable torture, years of solitary confinement in utter darkness. In their minds, it was only a matter of time, and for many, they suffered to the last day and never saw the light of freedom.
The question everyone wanted to know was how? How do you suffer like that and endure? The ex-POW said,
“You don’t do it for yourself. You do it for others. Everyday you’re praying for death, cause you’re tired of praying for deliverance. But you never end it yourself, because you don’t darn admit that you’ve given up hope, cause you know that if you do, you’ll kill your buddies too.Hope is all they have, and despair is contagious. One guy kills himself and others follow suit. You could kill yourself, but you’ve got no right to steal their hope.”
So Brittany, if you can’t bare the thought of suffering for your own sake, bare it for others – don’t steal their hope.
Hope is powerful. As prisoners of war, POWs were beaten and tortured, but it wasn’t until the light of hope left their eyes, that you knew they wouldn’t make it. Every human being on this earth is terminal, we are just a few steps behind you.
Please set an example that inspires and gives us reason to hope.
Finally, while you may have a shorter time than most, don’t throw away what you have. Use it wisely. Contemplate your existence.
Scientists do not know where life came from, or where it goes when we die. It is a strange thing. In many cases, we can restore the flesh, but not the life; the soul is gone.
I don’t know if you believe in God, but the fact that you are without hope, I’m guessing that you don’t. I urge you to pray to God. Make peace. There is life after death, the soul goes somewhere.
At SERE they tried to tell us that we had to “hope” and believe in something to survive. That was the PC garbage. Every single surviving POW defined “hope” as the belief in the loving God.
You have been given a great opportunity; you have been warned that death is approaching sooner than later. This is a time to search for God. You have nothing to lose. Jesus used His suffering and death to restore hope. Follow his example.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
God bless, you Brittany. Find God, and He will restore your hope. You are in my family’s prayers.
~ Britton LaTulippe