I had such a good day on Saturday. Rain in the morning allowed for extra snuggle time with my two favorite people and the blue skies with breeze allowed me to wear my new sweater as I walked with my husband and baby girl down to the end of the pier to visit our town’s small aquarium. Later, I met up with a girlfriend for a pedicure and that evening I went on a movie date with husband. It was a perfect day.

Monday as I got myself and my wiggly girl dressed, my husband informed me that the terminally ill girl who had planned her own death for the 1st of November did in fact end her life. If I wasn’t busy putting on my daughter’s shoes, I would have cried right then. I have followed the story of Brittany Maynard for the past several weeks. The 29-year-old newly married women was diagnosed with a brain tumor which was expected to take her life within six months. Rather than wait for her terrible painful death, she chose to die with dignity. The last months of her life were spent traveling with friends and family and doing whatever she could to live life to the fullest. On Saturday Nov. 1st Maynard decided to die. The first word that comes to mind when I think of her is courage. She faced her illness, accepted reality and made a bold choice that would save herself and her family from furthered suffering. I was raised Catholic therefore, suicide is considered the ultimate crime. I know there are many people who are criticizing Maynard’s choice to take her own life but all I can feel toward her is admiration. For anyone who has ever watched a loved one die of a terminal illness you know what it means to feel helpless, hopeless, fearful and angry. Here is a person who was once filled with so much life and then all of a sudden they are staring at you with no more will to live. I have been by someone’s side as they have had no choice but to feel pain, no choice but to take so much pain medicine they don’t even know who is in the room with them or what day it is. It’s devastating and it’s wrong. Maynard was a strong, smart, adventurous women who wanted to make a difference in the world. Her illness robbed her becoming a mom, it robbed her of living until she is old and gray, but she did not allow it to rob her of her dignity. She died on her terms, peacefully with her husband and her mom by her side. Of all the control that was unjustly taken from her, she rightfully took control of her last moment on earth.

In a video taken a few weeks before Maynard’s death, her husband, Daniel Diaz, spoke of how he and the family were coping with the inevitable, “We take things one day at a time, it’s the only way to get through this. You take away all the material stuff, all the nonsense that we latch onto as a society and you realize it’s those moments that are really what matter.”

I thought about my day on Saturday and how perfect it was because of who I chose to spend time with. Before and after Maynard received her diagnoses she lived life to the fullest, she didn’t waste time doing things or spending time with people that didn’t matter to her. I think no matter how we feel about her choice to end her life, we can all learn from how she lived her life.

“It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks, who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world!” Brittany Maynard

Please visit, http://www.thebrittanyfund.org