Dear Brittany, I hope you get this. Please don’t end your life on Nov. 1.

I lovingly completely disagree with your decision to end your life on November 1. I say lovingly because even though I don’t know you, I believe you were created with incredible value and worth. I know it’s weird that I’m writing this, but after hearing your story I felt compelled to reach out to you. Who am I but another random person with an opinion about your life, right? I know the odds are not in my favor as far you considering what I have to say, but I pray that you would. I completely agree that it is your choice, it’s your life… but I wanted to share with you something that is on my heart.

“My right to death with dignity at 29” by Brittany Maynard originally published on CNN.com

I can’t imagine what it’s like to hear that you have a brain tumor and that you have months, now weeks to live, and on top of that those remaining days will be painful internally and externally – loss of hair, weight gain, swelling of the face. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. Cancer is so so horrible. However, I plead with you to reconsider your decision to end your own life.

I have learned recently that I need to humbly approach life because I cannot possibly know what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, to have lived their life, to know every reason they are making their current choice. But, I have also learned that I should never let fear dictate my decisions but rather live in light of Truth. The Bible says there is a God who loves you, this same God knit you together in your mother’s womb and all your days were written in His book before you were even born. God does not promise that life will be easy or pain free, but He promises to go through it with us. The writer of Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

I hope you know that I am praying for you. I am praying that God would heal you of your cancer, which I know the doctors say is incurable. But, in Luke 18:27 Jesus says, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” In this case, Jesus is actually replying to the question of who can be saved from an eternity apart from God – which is known as Hell. And if Jesus can save us, sinful human beings who have rebelled against their loving Creator and because of it were destined to suffer eternally, I know that He can heal you. I also believe as Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Brittany, I think you are incredibly beautiful, vibrant, and strong. Your positivity in the face of your devastating illness is admirable. But, if you take anything away from this I hope you know that God loves you, has a purpose for you, and that you were created as an eternal being for good. You are body and soul. There is life after death and there are only two options at that time: eternity with God – Heaven, or eternity apart from God – Hell. I wanted to say that I’m not trying to scare you because that’s honestly not my intent, but I am scared for you because I don’t want you to suffer eternally worse than you might be now. The most important decision you will ever make is not if you choose to end your life on November 1, it’s whether or not you choose to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, Friend, and Lord of your life. I know this probably all sounds crazy, but as one of Jesus’ followers Paul said, “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.” (2 Corinthians 5:13)

Part of me wondered upon reading your story, “Is this real? Is this a publicity stunt? Am I being punk’d? This is a really intense thing to joke about or use to gain publicity…” I feel like I can definitely be fooled into believing things… some would say I’m gullible, but I couldn’t not say anything. At the risk of seeming like a crazy person, gullible, foolish, a religious nut… I write these things to you because your life matters more than my reputation.

One last thing… on Compassion & Choices website it says, “Brittany’s mission is to keep her legacy alive through advocacy work, while bringing the lessons she has learned to her fellow millennials: in our time on earth all that counts are the people you love and the people who love you. Appreciate them. Don’t miss a moment.” Brittany, with that last part I agree. Don’t miss out on a moment that God might have for you on this earth. My message to you and my fellow millennials is that God hears you. He feels your pain. He cares. And I believe He has a purpose for you now, in the midst of your pain. Please don’t miss out on seeing and being a part of what He has planned.

Thank you for your time. With love,

Katie

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

4 thoughts on “Dear Brittany, I hope you get this. Please don’t end your life on Nov. 1.

  1. I found this linked from a friend’s facebook page, and though I don’t you, I am compelled to ask: are you suggesting this suffering patient will go to hell if she chooses to end her life on her own terms? I’m not sure I understand.

    1. yes that’s exactly what she’s saying. That is an absolutely terrible thing to say. I hope Brittany believes in a loving and understanding God instead of this cruel one Katie follows. Why end your life comfortably surrounded by loved ones when you could have a seizure and aspirate on your own vomit and die?

  2. Hi Chris, thank you for your question and for giving me an opportunity to clarify. Although I think God is grieved by suicide (self-murder), I don’t believe that determines whether someone goes to Heaven or Hell. The Bible tells us that where we stand in relation to Jesus Christ is what determines our eternal destiny – it also greatly affects how we live now on this earth.

    “…God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” – 1 Timothy 2:3-6

    Thank you again for your question.

    1. Thanks for your response, Katie. I agree that God is grieved by suicide, but I think that God is also grieved by cancer, by suffering, and by pain. I have never met Brittany, but I am sure that she has been open to a miracle since the date of her diagnosis. And as a medical professional that has spent hours at the bedside of patients with terminal illnesses, I know that miracles don’t usually come. And when they don’t, it’s not as simple as “loss of hair, weight gain, swelling of the face.” It’s pain that knows no bounds, hallucinations from renal failure, itching and bowel obstructions from pain medications, inability to eat and drink, and infections from a depleted immune system. I am a Christian but not a theologan, and honest people can disagree about medical providers providing a patient with terminal illness a tool to end his or her life. But my belief, which I share with Brittany and many others, is that our God is a compassionate god that would not judge his children for making the choice to spend their last days on earth in relative comfort, surrounded by his greatest gifts to us, our families and close friends, rather than in suffering.
      I know we both want the same thing for Brittany–for her to find peace.

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