Choosing life in death

Many of you remember the heart-breaking story 2 years ago of a young woman named Brittany Maynard, who spent the last days of her life advocating for the right to choose when to die. Suffering from cancer herself, Brittany was assisted by her doctor in ending that painful struggle. We watched the story unfold with deep grief for Brittany and her family, understanding a tiny bit of the battles she was facing, both physically and emotionally. We cried with her mama as she spoke of her pride in her daughter and wanting her daughter to experience death on her own terms. We wept when we heard that Brittany had indeed taken a pill that ended her short, sweet, beautiful life.

A short time before Brittany’s death, Ann Voskamp published an open letter to Brittany that Kara had written. We were struck by the depths of compassion, the tenderness, that Kara had for Brittany. I was visiting my sister in Maryland at the time, and Kara texted sorrowful expressions of grief for Brittany and her entire family. I wrestled with the decision Brittany had before her, torn between the suffering Brittany faced and my convictions about the sanctity of life. I prayed for her, as surely millions did. And I cried when I got the news that she had died.

And then…then we walked the road of the long goodbye with Kara—she died less than 6 months later. To this day, my heart sings with gratitude that Kara made the choice to live each day that God gave her. I rejoice in the time I had with her, that she allowed me in. I am forever changed by that journey of walking death with someone I loved so deeply.

In this short video, Jason explains what it meant for Kara to choose life even in the midst of dying—what a gift it was for him and their children. As Colorado faces a vote regarding legalizing assisted suicide tomorrow, I urge Coloradans to consider this perspective, and for all citizens of the human race to consider the gift of life.