I also read a lot of opinions on Facebook, on twitter, heard people talking about it.
There seems to be a lot of strong emotions here.
I heard that Maynard was brave, strong, suicidal, dumb, stupid, made a mistake, left with her dignity in tact, thought of no one but herself, was selfless in her act.
I also read how some people couldn't help but wonder why Maynard was not being more like Hill.
I've got to tell you, these two stories have unleashed a whole well of emotions inside me that I'm not sure I knew were there.
I've got to also tell you that I think both women, yes both of them, are incredibly brave and honest and have done exactly the right thing.
And I've got to tell you, that I'm sitting here wondering: who the hell are we to judge? Who gets to sit and decide what the right way to go is? And why are so many people talking about how (at least one of these women) did it all wrong?
Look, I don't know what I would do if today one of my doctors sat down and had to tell me I wasn't going to live much longer and there is nothing they can do at this point, except help with pain.
I imagine that I would crumble, just crumble under the weight of it all. And I would terrified - absolutely terrified. And I would be so angry at all that I think I would miss. I want to cry right now just thinking about it. Or at least go grab my kids and hug them. Because how can I leave them?
I imagine that the family and I would do something crazy - like a two week trip to somewhere we've always wanted to go. And maybe parties, while I was still up to it. And then as the illness progressed, there would be a pull back ... no traveling, but movies on the couch. No parties, but a few friends over. Until even that would be too much and we would all squeeze in on my bed to watch a movie together and only close friends and family would come visit. And there would probably come a day where cuddling wouldn't happen as it would be too painful.
I can imagine all of this, because even though I've never been told I was going to die, I've been pretty sick. And I have certainly had those moments of let's just screw it all and go somewhere, all the way down to I want to cuddle with you right now, but if you touch me, I will cry in pain.
And both sides of the spectrum are a weird, strange, unknown place to be. There are unknowns.
On the darker side of this spectrum, the side where sickness and not feeling well and unsure of what's going to happen next side of things, are some pretty awful emotions. It is scary. It was scary for me to go through. I know that it was frightening for my family to watch. They don't talk to me much about it, but every so often my husband will say something about it and it breaks my heart.
I don't think I would do what Maynard chose to do. But I don't think she made the wrong choice. She did exactly what was right for her. Just as Hill is doing. Just as I hope I can do when the time comes.
Death is scary. I get that. I don't want to die. I don't want my family to die. Or my friends to die. I don't like to think about it.
But, I also hope that if and when the time comes, I can die in a way that is right for me and my family. And that if it should be someone I love, that I can be there to support them in whatever way they need me to.
Because I don't believe there is a right way to die. And there isn't a right way to grieve some one's death. At the end of the day, most of us are here, just doing the best we can with the cards we've been dealt. If we are lucky, those around us will be there to support us, to offer us comfort and peace, even if they don't want their end to look the same.