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Fare you well, Ms. Maynard

November 3, 2014

A few weeks ago, in a post titled, “The Trifecta: Ask, Seek, and Knock“, I closed by mentioning the story of Brittany Maynard.  In case you have been in quarantine/complete news blackout, Ms. Maynard moved to Oregon with her new husband, because she had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, that would seriously affect her quality of life.  She would certainly – barring any miracle – die within six months.  So they moved to Oregon to  take advantage of the State’s Death With Dignity Act – legal assisted suicide.  She came forward, quite eloquently, and explained her decision to the whole world.  And the storm ensued.  I read as many of the various comments as I could.  Certainly some people were rude, and then, in corresponding fashion, people were rude back.  Total strangers enjoying the sanctuary of Internet anonymity.  To me, the polarized discussion was a complete and utter conviction of what has gone south in America today: The total inability to have a civilized debate – and in the process: lose sight of a young, vibrant, articulate woman suffering from what was to become all too soon,  a horrible ending.

On one sideline Leftist, Libtards from the Blue Team.  On the other, Right-wing Religious Nuts-n-Freaks from the Red Team.  All Team captains were salivating rabidly for the debate coin toss.  Oh sure, there were some who were genuinely saddened by this sad story – I being one of them.  And sure, some were even able to briefly state their opinion and well meant prayers and well-wishes.  But, by and large, they were drowned out by so many trolls only interested in steamrolling their opinion on the way to thoroughly insulting the opposing team.

However bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best – St Thomas More

St. Thomas More said, in a letter to his step-daughter, “And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.

I have family and good friends who line right up and agree with Ms Maynard.  And I have family and close friends who agree with the idea that every day is a gift.  Every day is a teaching moment that somehow, somewhere, sometime someone will benefit from what we say and do, so we should stick it out.  And I have family and faithful friends who believe that this life is a mysterious gift from God, and we are not meant to understand His Will for us, but to be trusting – full of Faith and Hope, and especially Love.  We do not know the purpose of God’s Will, nor are we supposed to worry about it.  Just love as much as possible, as completely as possible, and to as many as possible.  Our faith and beliefs is exactly that: our faith and beliefs.  It is not a personal attack on those who differ in opinion.

Jim Caviezel, the actor, said in an interview, “We all have a cross to carry.  I have to carry my own cross.  If we don’t carry our crosses, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it.”  I know the burden of the cross is a difficult concept for some, and for others difficult to accept.  ‘Why do bad thing happen to good people ‘ and all that endless debate.  I don’t have an answer that many like, but I can best summarize it to be, ‘we do the best we can.’  Ms. Maynard did the best she can.  This Saturday night, on the Vigil of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed – better known as All Souls’ Day – Brittany Maynard, surrounded by the love of her loved ones, chose, in her words, “to die on my own terms.”  I am grateful for any grace she passed on to others, and sad that a light was extinguished a little too early.  I entreat others who can and feel disposed, to pray for the repose of her soul.  Eternal rest grant unto her, and let perpetual light shine upon her.  May she rest in peace.  Amen?

In my blog closing I wrote about what a verse in Lamentations teaches us, “The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him.” Pray that Brittany sees the dignity of the path God has chosen for her to teach others.  And grant her and all her loved ones, prayerfully, the peace and answers that only God Himself can answer.  Certainly, we never know what God’s version of good will be.

Thy Will be done.


To Jesus through Mary,


2 Comments leave one →
  1. piratesorka permalink
    November 5, 2014 4:40 pm

    I appreciated this essay. Very kind and sensible. Like yourself I mourn the loss of civilized debate. Discussion these days has become “who can shout louder than the next guy”.
    At the heart of this one was a young newly-wed who should have had so much more time with her beloved. A woman in horrible pain and fear. I hear on Oct 31st that she had decided not to die on November 1st and I felt a sense of cautious relief. By the end of Nov 1 however, news came that she had died and I was sad for her, her husband,family and friends. All of us really. With all that medical science knows we still do not have satisfactory pain medication. Doctors could not relief her of the fear she felt for her future I cannot speak of what I would do in her situation, I pray I can live the verse of Lamentations you quoted.
    In the meantime I will pray for Brittany and for all those who face their future with despair and do not know the peace of God.
    Peace of Christ,

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