Over the many years of living with Multiple Sclerosis I have given a lot of thought to end-of-life issues. All my life I have valued independence and challenge as an integral and necessary part of my existence. Ironically the illness, that struck me nearly twenty years ago, is steadily eroding both.
To me MS is like the silent thief who takes just a little bit, time after time, so that the damage can only be seen over an extended period.
I have done everything in my power to fight this thief – and yes – I am still walking , albeit with the help of cane and walking aids.
I have built a refuge where I can live in beauty and contemplate the meaning of All – but as the illness is taking more and more of my ability to function physically, I find myself contemplating the limits of what I can endure. How to live with crippling pain? How to cope with depression that cannot be explained?
Of course, I’m not the only one to encounter a challenge of such magnitude. Which brings me to the reason for this post:
His name is Craig Colby Ewert and his assisted suicide at the age of 59 was recorded to provide a better understanding of the desire to die with dignity. The documentary aired on PBS on March 2, 2010 on Frontline.
Facing similar questions, I am deeply touched by the strength and love Craig and his family showed for each other during such a difficult time. I consider Craig’s decision to share the process of his death to be a heroic act and I am grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have witnessed his passing, along with all the agony that was a part of his decision to end life.
Thank you Craig Colby Ewert, may your example give strength and comfort to us all.