In November 2016, my partner was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He had just begun a new stage of his life, and this shocking news from within his body knocked him right off his feet. One month later he had moved into my home – a process we had hoped to take more slowly – and we were married – a leap that felt important to take.
On September 25, 2017, my husband became the first person to receive Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID), in New Westminster, British Columbia (Canada). Mere hours before he passed, he was still afraid. Nothing about his fear negates the tremendous love that poured out of him in passing, nor the brave choice he made to ask for help in ending his suffering. Grief has no rules, nor does dying.
My husband was on the edge of bringing his true joy into this world, far beyond the joy he had already offered. As his wife and caregiver, I carried the discontent that balanced this joy. And so now I want to tell his story. Our story. I want to write the discontent – his and my own – so that I can bring that joy.