Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill Oregon woman who became the public face of the right-to-die movement, took her own life at her Portland home on Saturday, with her husband, her mother, and her stepfather by her side.
People reports that Maynard's Facebook page features a poignant message from the young woman.
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more," she wrote. "The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!"
It was last spring when doctors told Brittany Maynard that she likely had about six months to live following the diagnosis of stage 4 glioblastoma. She quickly became a household name following her announcement that she intended to die of her own choosing, as allowed by Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. She planned to take a fatal dose of barbiturates, prescribed to her by a doctor, when her suffering became too great.
Terminally ill patients' rights advocate Brittany Maynard has died http://t.co/LI9LhMMViF
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 3, 2014
Saturday was that day. It was the day Brittany Maynard had planned to die, but a few days prior had said she might stick around for a while longer.
“If Nov. 2 has come along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made,” Maynard said in a video, which was released by Compassion & Choices–the nonprofit working to expand end-of-life options. “And if Nov. 2 comes along and I’m still alive, I know that we’ll just still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other, and that the decision will come later.”
Sadly, it's November 2nd, and Brittany Maynard is gone. So is her suffering, and it is for that reason it seems we are supposed to feel a sense of peace. Some may and some may not--but it isn't for us to decide. If Brittany Maynard, her husband and her family felt that peace as she ended her life on Saturday, then that is what matters most.
How do any of us know what we might do when faced with a similar situation?
An obituary is posted at The Brittany Fund website.