Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear Brittany Maynard....

Maybe I am coming late to this party.

By now we all know the story of Brittany Maynard. The 29 year old who is choosing to take her own life before cancer takes it from her. 
All you need to do is google Brittany Maynard and 6.4 millions hits come up.

So I am joining the conversation late. 
Except I am not conversing I am simply writing her a letter she may or may not ever see.



Dear Brittany,

I am so sorry. I am sorry you are terminal. I am sorry you have no hope. I am sorry you have given up and most of all I am sorry others have given up on you.

When we know someone is suicidal we don’t encourage them. Instead, we wrap our arms around them, we tell them we love them and we work to get them help. We intervene.

I am sorry that few have jumped into intervene for you. Maybe it is due to their belief that you are better off dead or that they are afraid that it would be selfish to ask you to suffer on their behalf.

Wow. Brittany, There is more to life than the absence of pain. You still have the opportunity to love, to be loved.



You don’t need to sacrifice yourself for those you love. You are missing the point. Maybe you believe you are saving them from the pain of watching you suffer or you are saving them from the expenses of medical bills but those who love you – unconditionally would be grateful to suffer for you. Just ask.

Prior to being a mother I didn’t fully understand or even grasp what unconditional love was. So let me try to simply explain…

Newborn babies are VERY needy. On paper it would appear as if they had nothing to offer. They cannot feed themselves, they must be fed, burped, changed, rocked and you must also wipe their dirty behinds… Yet somehow, that experience is simply wonderful and for most (including me) it is the first time you experience unconditional love. It changes your life.

I imagine this 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, hold you as a helpless woman. After all no matter how old you are, you are still their little girl.

I am not a husband but I am a wife.
Two things.
If my husband was faced with something like this I would cherish each day we were given and count them all as blessings. I would feel honored to be by his side in his final days.

As for being a husband. I won’t try to speak on any husbands behalf but what I do know about men is that they have a secret hero complex. Let your husband be your hero. Let him serve you, if not for your sake for his.

Your decision to take your life is stealing the people who love you the opportunity to show you unconditional love.

Your story has made national headlines. Few have not heard of you. But I am struggling with what your message is?

What are you telling terminal children? 
Children who are suffering, who have little time left. They still have hope, their parents still hope… but when they see others calling you a hero, when all you have done is given up. That is confusing. It is not heroic to give up!

Nobody likes a quitter. We learn this at a young age…  The only exception is those who push euthanasia. They aren’t your friends, they don’t love you. They prefer to talk despairing people like you off the edge because they don’t value life. Don’t give into their lies. If not for you or the millions of others suffering don’t give into the lies for the kids who suffer.

You have been given the gift that came in the package of a warning. Death is approaching sooner than later. This is a time for you to search for God. 
You have nothing to lose. 
Jesus used his suffering and death to restore hope. Follow his example.

Praying for you and your family.

-        -  Kelsey Garka

1 comment:

~Sarah said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for making me feel not crazy! So much sadness.

 
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