Monday, November 3, 2014

Living While Dying: Lauren Hill, Brittany Maynard, and Mrs. Dubose

Lauren Hill has inspired many with her story, basketball, her cancer, and her desire to raise as much money as she possibly can for pediatric cancer cure research before she dies. $40,000 so far. She is going to die, sooner rather than later.

Read about her here, here, here, and here.

Brittany Maynard chose a different route, she championed her right to end her life at the time of her choosing, which she did Saturday November 1, 2014.

You can choose sides, I guess, or decide which story appeals to your sensibilities, or just see them as two completely different situations and stories, but in time like these I am always reminded of the great book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the character of Mrs. Dubose.

In case you have forgotten, Mrs. Dubose was the awful neighbor to whom Jem Finch ended up reading at her bedside as punishment for attacking her camellias with Scout's baton. It turns out he was also helping her kick her painkiller (morphine) habit so she could die not as an addict, but free from it. Atticus says this:
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew."  

Feel free to ruminate on that. Know that I've lost people to all kinds of disease, and seen friends suffer as their parents died slowly of cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc.

I will take Lauren's story over Brittany's every day of the week.

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