Thursday, November 6, 2014

Controlling life or death is only an illusion

Brittany Maynard's tragic death has skyrocketed to the top of news feeds for the past week.  The world waited in suspense as November 2 drew closer.  Would she choose to die or, as one of her final messages seemed to allude to, would she decide to keep on living?  But as we know, she did die.  As one author suggested, though, we will never know if her death was a free choice or one that was horribly influenced by the organization "Compassion and Choices" that hijacked Brittany's situation for their own benefit.

The loss of Brittany is certainly tragic.  The tragedies could continue to mount if people use her story as a catalyst for physician-prescribed suicide.  That's why another young woman with the same cancer shared her perspective on CNN:

Cancer has been in the news in Cincinnati lately.  Bengals' player Devon Still's four-year-old daughter is battling cancer right now.  Lauren Hill, a freshman basketball player at the College of Mt. St. Joseph, has been told she has until December to live.

There has been no talk of suicide pills or control of death for Lauren.  Instead, the entire city has rallied around her as she played her first (as she says, her first, not her last) college basketball game.  

Women like Lauren and Maggie Karner (above) are witnessing how to live, which is also how to die.  They are truly brave in submitting to the reality that we cannot control everything -- not death, nor life.  They are courageous in allowing their immense suffering to transform them and others, rather than to dominate them.

Pray for Lauren.  Pray for Maggie.  Pray for all who are faced with terminal diagnoses -- for the courage to live while dying.  

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