Fatal diagnosis leaves young newly wed asking important questions

You’ve probably seen this video below of Brittany Maynard talking about her decision to end her own life after her fatal diagnosis. I wanted to highlight something she said that one asks themselves when facing death:

“What’s important to you? What do you care about? What matters?”

And her answer:

“Pursue that. Forget the rest.”

Brittany is choosing to spend more time with family and friends, and to travel to as many places she wants to see as she can.

Brittany is scheduled to die on November 1st.

Family. Friends. Travel. That’s what matters to Brittany. She doesn’t say that she wants to spend more time at work finishing a big project or buy a brand new corvette with her retirement money she’ll no longer need. Those things don’t matter to her.

I am not saying that working on a big project or getting a corvette is a bad thing. Obviously, when our lifespan shortens by decades priorities change. But thinking of our own mortality is an important reminder about what is actually important.

My friend, BJ McKay, recently told me to pick up a newspaper and look at the ads. Ads tell us that we’re not smart enough, rich enough, skinny enough, healthy enough, and not having enough “spine-tingling” sex. And then look at the obituaries. You won’t find anything about personal appearance, sex life, finances, or cars in an obituary. You read names of people and places and possible a life’s mission.

We are all scheduled to die at some point. Brittany’s story is an important reminder for us all to ask ourselves…

“What do I care about? What matters?”



Have you seen this? This is another perspective. I don’t know your faith, but this is a take that, as an information gatherer that you are, I thought you’d enjoy reading. Ann Voskamp is on my favorite authors. Her book 1000 Gifts completely changed me.


Kelsey says:

Jaime, I purposely avoided the issue of whether I agreed with her decision. I wanted to focus on the perspective provided when we live with our mortality in mind.

That said, I don’t have a problem with either woman’s choice to die or to fight. We’ve always put down our dogs when we thought it was the humane thing to do to lessen their suffering. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but, fortunately, that’s the only personal experience I’ve had with euthanasia. I’ve also watched my grandpa live as a vegetable for far too long. I think Steph Fisher makes some good points. While grandpas mind was gone…while grandpa was gone…his heart with an artificial valve clicking away kept him alive. But again, I feel like all of this is a personal choice and both women have amazing stories and voices.

Steph Fisher says:

Jamie, the woman’s letter that you linked to is touching and her story is beautiful, as well. Her argument “but it was never intended for us to decide when that last breath is breathed” rings false to me. We use medical advancement to alter our health, our lifespan, and prevent natural death every day. I don’t see the difference. If you can tinker with life in one way, the door is open. It becomes a moral gray area at that point and a personal decision. At least, that’s my take. Our book club read “Me Before You” recently and had a great discussion about right to die issues. I respect that everyone has a different point of view.

Kelsey, good points! It’s hard to keep that perspective all the time.

Let your voice be heard!