The Art of Departure
kestrin pantera: KP2
60146

Hi. I had an internal fight with myself about whether I should read this story or not. I did and I’m glad. My husband died only a month ago, at age 54, of cancer that metastasized to his liver. I am so sad and so happy for Betsy!! I’ve always been open minded about suicide and the experience I’ve just lived with the love of my life has seared into me the absolute conviction that our deaths are truly ours to “own “. I usually don’t write publicly about myself, but I feel the strong need to make two comments about something you said in this story. My comments are an injection of negativity here and I apologize in advance. Unfortunately, I’m not good with my smartphone use so I can’t refer back to the story to be more specific, but you said something about some people not being given the treatment they need because they are poor and it would cost too much or something similar. Well, we just lived that for the past year, so I wanted to thank you for confirming the idea that we had all along which was that since my husband was already HIV+, with chronic hepatitis B etc., etc, when he got cancer, in our opinion and based on things too long to relate here, he was allowed die with just about zero effort put out to help him. I know I haven’t quoted your actual statement properly, but what you said was something I recognized instantly and you don’t know how much that has helped me!! The second thing is that in describing the death of Mat’s father I recognized our story again. You see, my husband was allowed to spend EIGHT days and nights here at home, with a written “express order “ for the next hospital bed in hand, with only a half liter of water entering his body that whole time. I felt so, so bad for what Mat and his family and father went through as I read because we (now “I “) just finished living it. The expression hell on earth doesn’t do justice to that experience! I know I’ve been long winded here and I hope I haven’t been a pain. I need to tell you how much emotional help I’ve gotten tonight from reading what you’ve written here. The *whole *story has helped and is an important story. Any one of us could find ourselves in Betsy’s place when we least expect it and I’m so glad that she was able to die the way she wanted to. I’m so glad you wrote about it too because I’m sure you helped more than you know. Thanks.

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