“I made contact with a publishing house about
six months before Alan died. We both wanted our
experience to benefit others. I held Choosing To Die’s
book release celebration on April 9, 2017, exactly four
years after Alan had his last food and liquid.
Completing Choosing To Die closed the most
significant chapter of my life — 26 years of being
married to Alan, and 4 years of grieving and healing.
I was ready to move into another chapter of living and
loving. The book has been part of my journey toward
inner freedom. It has been about learning to live and
love in new ways. It has been about overcoming my
own fear of death. And it has been about serving
countless others, most of whom I will never meet.
For the first two years after Alan’s death, I spent most
of my time alone. The only places I went were places
where I felt safe and people knew me. For the first
year, several times a day, I was on the floor doubled
over in pain, sobbing. Grief, fear and anxiety were
my dominant emotions. I don’t think that it's possible
to measure grief and how it plays out because it's so
much about the baggage that we carry from our whole
life into the experience.
I allowed myself to be in free fall after Alan died. As
a result, my energy in relation to everything around
me transformed. I'm living my life differently than I
ever have before. I know this work is not about me.
I don't care if people know my name. I just want
others to have this information. It began when Alan,
two weeks before he died, said that he wanted
everyone to know about VSED. I told him that he
would have to trust that I would be his vehicle. I still
feel his co-creation with me.
I feel that Alan and I are doing the most important
work of our relationship now. The work is about more
than VSED. I'm an advocate for expanding end of life
choices. I'm an advocate for conscious dying. I'm an
advocate for preparing to die. I'm allowing the energy
of this message to unfold with grace. I can't imagine not
doing this work because it is making such a difference
for so many people.
A couple contacted me as the husband was getting
closer to making his final decision about VSED. He was
90 years old with vascular dementia. It took him eight
days to die. The day after he died his wife sent me an
email and said, "We used your book like a manual."
I'm an advocate for living
into our dying, being aware
of what is happening to us
when it's happening and
not denying it.
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