A Dignified Death?

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

pillsLike many, my heart broke when I recently watched Brittany Maynard's video in which she outlined her plans to die through physician-assisted suicide. No one – absolutely no one – welcomes the pain that dealing with a terminal disease invariably brings, and it's clear that this young woman is firm in her convictions. But if I could park my wheelchair beside her, I would tell her how the love of Jesus has sustained me through my chronic pain, quadriplegia and cancer. I don't want her to wake up on the other side of her tombstone only to face a dark, grim existence without life and joy; that is, without God. There's only one Person who has transformed the landscape of life-after-death, and that is Jesus, the One who conquered the grave and opened the path to life eternal. Three grams of Phenobarbital in the veins will only provide a temporary reprieve. It is not the answer for the most important passage of her life.

The hours are ticking away; please, Brittany, open your heart to the only One who can do something about your pain and your death. Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of the human experience, and I implore you to take a long, hard look at the consequences of your decision which is so fatal, and worst of all, so final.


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I have had battles throughout my life that have made me depressed. But I push on no matter what through The Lords live and grace. He is so good. All praise and glory for His kingdom. God bless you Joni for your inspiration and love to us all, for His holy name. Love and blessings. Steve.
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 6:31 a.m.
  • Steve
Bless you! Thank you for sharing from the inside. I will use your thoughts to influence those intent on ending their lives without God!
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 6:23 a.m.
  • Doris Pierce
Joni, you are a blessing to so many. Thank you thank you for allowing our Lord to use you in such a mighty way. All glory too God.
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 6:06 a.m.
  • Molly Simmons
Beautifully expressed truth. Joni, you are an amazing woman of faith and love. The strength you exude is unfathomable. I hope Brittany sees this, your heart, and your good instruction.
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 6:02 a.m.
  • Zelda Willis
well said, Amen to what you have said to Brittany thank you
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 5:31 a.m.
  • Marney Kidder
Thank you Joni! I felt like any words I would offer would just create anger, because I have not known suffering...but you certainly do and have done more than most do in a lifetime filled with good health.
  • Oct. 15, 2014
  • 4:09 a.m.
  • heather
One of my sisters was diagnosed in April 2010 with stage 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. She had two surgeries and in December, 2011passed away after Christmas from it. I feel for Brittany because of the drugs she is taking and like my sister, it has altered her appearance. However, my sister continued to play her violin, swim at the YMCA, and share every available moment with her husband, 3 grown children, and a new granddaughter. Yes, she passed while in Hospice and with medicine but had a determination to live. We questioned why this happened, and it has been hard on my parents, who are still living, to lose one of their six daughters. We have always been a close-knit family and her death has brought us closer yet. We miss her terribly but we can laugh when we recall stories of her and it helps us heal even now. My faith in God and church family have been my saving grace in dealing with her death. I pray for Brittany as I am with you when it comes to Jesus and His promise to us about eternal life. God bless you, Brittany.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 10:25 p.m.
  • Donna
Brittany, I hope and pray you can read this letter from Joni! Please reconsider your decision. God gave you breath... It's His decision to take it away. So many people are praying for you, for your life and for you to reconsider your decision.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 10:17 p.m.
  • Lene
Dear Joni: If anyone has a right to speak to Brittany Maynard and her decision to end her life on her terms, it's you. Through your life, Joni, we have seen the extraordinary things God can do with a surrendered soul. Even now, I am praying that the Holy Spirit would use someone to bring the gospel to Brittany and to let her know she can spend eternity with Jesus. I wish that someone could be you.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 10:07 p.m.
  • Marti Bedford
Joni my heart aches for Brittany and those like her that feel so lost. I am a young mom of 5 with a great husband. I am dying. I don't want to leave. I continue to see my pain increase, my nausea get worse, and I am on IV food/hydration 21 hours a day and STILL I will await the Lord's timing. I know He will sustain me through it all until He calls me home.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 10:07 p.m.
  • Heather Laurie
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