I don’t have a terminal disease, and I am blessed with good health, an amazing family and relatively little difficulty or pain in my life. Given these things, I know my words may not have as much impact as they otherwise might – but I do hope that the sincerity of my intention comes through.
First, I don’t blame people with a terminal diagnosis for wanting to die with dignity. I logically understand this perspective, and given the horrific state of agony and deterioration that the body goes through under a circumstance like brain cancer, it makes sense that you wouldn’t call it “suicide” but instead an act of courage. (Click here for context)
Rather than debating, I would like to add an additional perspective to the conversation.
For me, quality of life includes purpose. If my only purpose in life were to live and enjoy life and feel good, then embracing a choice to die when I felt things were too hard or unpleasant would be a natural conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I know cancer isn’t a small thing and I can’t imagine the pain and sickness involved. And it’s doesn’t just end with the pain that it puts your body through, but the emotional drainage that it causes. Countless nights spent worrying about your loved one, thinking whether things like is critical illness insurance worth it? How will this affect your family in the future if something happens, I just couldn’t do it. So I know it’s not a small thing, I know it’s awful, even though I can’t imagine the pain and sickness involved.
I will say that it’s possible to have a continued purpose in the midst of that pain. I have known many people with a deep love for God and a desperate longing to be with Him in heaven, who have been dying from cancer or other similar diseases. I have many friends with varying disabilities like MS who could arguably say their quality of life is not great. Sure, there are things they can do to improve their quality of life slightly, like using cannabis to reduce the pain. Purchased from a trusted canada dispensary, this could help them to live each day without severe pain, making things slightly easier. But nevertheless, their quality of life is never going to be like that of someone who doesn’t have MS. I have seen incredible peace and joy in their spirits with the knowledge that they are loved and cared for by their Creator. I have watched them profoundly impact their nurses and doctors who see their deep and profound faith that is so evidently real.
At the same time, I have seen some of those people in their final days crying out to God to let them die, confident that they have fulfilled their purpose on earth.
Whatever your concept of God, purpose and the afterlife, I would like to challenge you with the idea that there is hope for things after death, which includes a deep fulfillment in life here on earth.
I have a purpose that I know isn’t limited to my quality of life. In fact, I know that the hope I have is often best shown to others in the midst of my pain and anguish. (An example in my life was the birth of our stillborn daughter, found here http://david-mcvety.blogspot.ca.)
So my question, or challenge, or offering to the conversation is this – have you explored a purpose that is deeper than this life? Would you like to know and meet your Creator here on earth rather than waiting for your eventual death? Would you like peace beyond words and understanding?
I have this hope and purpose and have watched the difference it makes in the lives of so many others – even on their deathbed.
Someone has already died for you, you are loved for who you are and He knows you better than you know yourself. His name is Jesus.
Thank God there is more to this life than what we see in front of us.