As she stood by her husband’s side, her heart heavy with sorrow yet filled with determination, she made a silent promise. A promise to herself, her husband, and all those who would face similar struggles in the future. In that vulnerable moment, as her husband prepared to take his final breath, she found clarity amidst the pain.

With unwavering resolve, she pledged to volunteer her time, energy, and voice to the cause of end-of-life options. For her, it wasn’t just about easing her husband’s suffering in his final moments, but about paving the way for others to find peace and dignity in their own journeys.

As the last traces of life slipped away from her beloved partner, she whispered her intentions. “When this is over,” she vowed, “I will volunteer at home in Arizona.”

With each word, she felt a sense of purpose stirring within her. She envisioned herself reaching out to patients and families, offering them the support and guidance they so desperately needed. She imagined herself walking alongside them, helping to navigate the complexities of end-of-life care, and ensuring that their wishes were honored till the very end.

In her mind’s eye, she saw a future where end-of-life options were not just a distant dream but a tangible reality. She knew that change wouldn’t come overnight, but she was ready to roll up her sleeves and do the work.

In Arizona, where she called home, the fight for end-of-life options was already underway. There was an End of Life Options group tirelessly working towards a new law, a law that would give individuals the autonomy to make choices about their own deaths.  https://azendoflifeoptions.org/

With a renewed sense of purpose, she joined their ranks, lending her voice to the chorus of advocates calling for change. Together, they fought for the rights of the terminally ill, for the freedom to die on their own terms, and for the compassion and dignity that every human being deserved.

But her journey was far from over. As she stood amidst the quiet stillness of the room, she knew that her purpose now lay in helping others find the same peace and comfort that her husband had found. And so, with a heart full of hope and a spirit strengthened by love, she embarked on her new path as a volunteer, as an advocate, and as a beacon of light in the darkness of end-of-life care.

 

For her, the journey towards advocacy was not just a choice, but a calling. And in answering that call, she found solace in knowing that her husband’s legacy would live on, not just in memories, but in the lives of those she would touch with her kindness, her compassion, and her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for all those facing life’s most difficult journey.

For myself, as her husband’s physician, it was an honor and a gift to witness his peaceful death and the fulfillment of his wishes as well as her resolve, resilience and compassion in moving ahead and becoming a volunteer.  Gratitude and generosity know no bounds.

 

Barbara Morris, MD 

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