I’m not a huge link-up person. I don’t have a problem with them, but they were never really my thing. But, I’ve found lately that growing a basketball sized object in your belly lends less time to fitness activities and more time for thinking. Sooo…I thought I would join in on Thinking Out Loud Thursday and share with you all my latest thoughts. Enjoy!
I’m sure all of you have heard about Brittany Maynard, the woman who is choosing to end her life in November due to a fatal brain tumor that would otherwise leave her in an immense amount of pain and overall diminish the quality of any additional time she may have left on this earth after November. Obviously this has struck people in so many different ways. I recently read a People Magazine article (I know my reading standards are high these days…I used to read the Wall Street Journal!) about her and I felt really saddened by her story. She got married in the fall of 2012 (I got married in the spring of 2012), she loved to travel, was active and in 2014 she and her husband decided to start a family. Instead, they found out she has an incurable brain tumor. So instead of painting a nursery and preparing herself to meet a little child, she is planning her death.
Her story struck me because of our similarities. Obviously I don’t have a brain tumor or suffer from any horrific diseases, in fact, I’m really healthy. I’ve had a very healthy pregnancy and have remained active into my 37th week. Prior to becoming pregnant, I’ve always been very healthy with my main complaints being seasonal allergies. But, like her I’m young, married for a few years and how I’m starting a family. It made me think, why me? Not in the why-is-this-happening-to-me way, but in the why-ISN’T-this-happening-to-me. I feel like I’ve been very lucky in life. I truly love my life. I have a great family, awesome friends, a job and a blog I love and I get to spend my free time pursuing my passions. My major stressors are getting all my chores done and ensuring I get to bed at a reasonable hour. So why did I get so lucky?
Perhaps a lot of this is driven by the fact that I’m facing a joyous but simultaneously scary time. I’m obviously so excited to meet my child but like every mother I have anxiety over the birth going ok and whether my child will be healthy. I can’t control any of these things. I feel like I’ve been so lucky so far that it makes me wonder if the other shoe will drop. I feel like people can’t just sail on through life without hard times. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly had to deal with stuff in the past, but lately it seems like things are kind of great. So how come some people have good luck and others bad?
Whatever side you take on the right to die issue is completely personal to you, but I hope that Brittany’s story at least makes you think about what you have in your own life and how you can make the most of it.
Readers, what do you think of Brittany Maynard’s story? Do you ever get anxiety over life being too good? How do you deal with adversity?
When I first heard Brittany’s story on tv I cried real tears– not that one glistening tear that may happen during a human interest piece– no, I mean crying crying. I applaud her for her courage. I’m about to start crying again. (PS- on a happier note- you look so pretty in your wedding dress!)
The story is extremely saddening but I really admire her for taking control of the situation. Rather than have her husband and family suffer for a really long time she has given them a gift of time. It will still be really horrible when she passes but it will be in peace and I really think she is so brave for doing so.
I can definitely relate to what you’re saying. I feel like I’ve been so lucky too. In fact, my mom sometimes says that she worries that something bad is going to happen since my family has been so blessed. I feel like there’s so much heartache all over the world, like this story, and I almost feel guilty that my life is so good. But the thing is, you never know what’s going to happen and life can change in an instant, so I try to just enjoy my life and be grateful now, and not worry about negative things possibly happening in the future.
i count my blessings every single day and try to remember all of the wonderful things i’ve been given, in a world where so many people suffer from so much pain. i am with you entirely on that — that those of us who have been given much stay positive and recognize this. i haven’t read a lot about her story and it’s definitely sad to think about having to be in that situation…
I honestly can’t even imagine what Brittany is going through or really judge her decision either way 🙁 … It’s easy to give an opinion and pick a side when we’re not in that position, but I have a feeling that everything would change if we had to deal with it ourselves. That being said, I hope it’s not a position I’ll ever find myself in, and even though I’ve had my fair share of hardships, I try to practice gratitude for the many blessings that I do have and not worry about what will come.
I purposely didn’t read past the headline of her story because it’s just way too sad. I can’t deal with it. I totally get where you’re coming from and I have the same feelings about being so lucky in my family and our health, etc. I think because we appreciate it so much, it’s honoring our happiness. Does that make sense? And don’t you worry, that baby is going to be super healthy because it has a super healthy mama! You have nothing to worry about.
I would do exactly what Brittany is doing – I have always said I want my life to end when I’m able to completely enjoy it all!!!
And, yes, there are many times that it almost scares me how easy my life really is and the fact that my boys and husband and I are all healthy when so many aren’t sometimes panics me.
I loved your reverse approach and I’m so happy that your life is the way it is!!!
Thanks Kim! I agree with you in wanting to enjoy life and have it be on your own terms. I guess in a perverse sense Brittany is fortunate that she at least has the option to have things end on her own terms. If you can find any silver lining in that cloud.
BTW, how are you doing with your skin stuff and feeling rather down lately? I hope you are doing better!
I do – I agonize over “Things are going well. TOO WELL. When’s the inevitable fallout going to happen?”
The most helpful advice I received was from my counselor, who said to think about it this way. When you’re on a plane, the plane might crash. But it probably won’t. So the choice is to either white-knuckle it through the entire flight, scared and tense, OR to sit back and enjoy the flight. He said so is the same with life – do you want to white-knuckle it through life, or enjoy what you have when you have it?
That is really good advice from your counselor. I definitely want to enjoy my life. It’s just so hard when you feel like you have so much to lose not think about that but you can’t really enjoy life if that is what you are thinking about all the time.
This is such a beautiful post. Her story is captivating and made me feel the exact same way. These are the kinds of stories that make me go into an anxious panic whenever I have a headache for more than a day…I just keep thinking there’s no way something bad CAN’T happen to me when I just hear over and over again how random terrible situations happen to normal people all the time. I completely respect her decision and love the publicity this issue is getting. There’s honestly nothing you can do except be grateful for the life you do have. Crazy.
It’s impossible for me to even guess what I’d do in her situation. My mom works in hospice, and it’s so tragic and simultaneously interesting to see how people deal with the end of their life.
I definitely get the “things are too good lately” bug. I try to remind myself there isn’t a limit on how good I have it, and that it’s important that I give back knowing how good my life is. Idk. It’s hard to swallow sometimes.
I think you raise an important point about giving back. I definitely think I should do more of that. I donate to charity but I think spending time with people is really what matters. It’s great that you do give back!
I can totally relate to that “when will the other shoe drop” feeling. I worked in a children’s hospital for 6 years and met so many families living with such tragedy, but also the flip side when the kids would get better. My husband and I have an ongoing joke/truth that he thinks nothing bad will ever happen and I think everything bad will (I guess that’s how we balance each other out!). Brittany’s story resonates with so many people and I think she is brave and selfless for choosing what she is choosing. It doesn’t negate the tragedy of a young person dying long before what most would consider her time, but through sharing her story, she is reaching so many people and likely making a difference in so many lives. Great post!
Thanks Danielle! Your relationship with your husband is similar to mine. I worry about everything and he tells me not to worry. It’s hard sometimes but these situations really make you think and appreciate what you do have!
brittany, have you read The Secret? the premise is that you ‘ask, believe, receive’ what you hope for out into the universe. sometimes i think that people don’t just have good luck, but instead are truly happy, open-minded people and everything just works out because that is their truth. maybe that’s the same with you!