Monday, April 13, 2009

To Plan a Death with Dignity

I hope many of you were listening to NPR's Morning Edition today to hear the story by correspondent Richard Clark entitled: Catherine's Choice: To Plan A Death with Dignity. 

Catherine Royce, a former dancer, executive director of Boston's Strand Theater, and writer/editor was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2003.  Two and a half years ago she offered an essay on NPR's This I Believe entitled I Always Have a Choice.  Catherine died on March 30th, having chosen the timing and manner of her own death, with her family and friends gathered around her.

In her memoir Whevever I Am, I'm Fine she writes:

You know the path I am on. I feel the urge to continue down the path more insistent every day. The things that used to pull on me, to get my attention, to distract me, no longer worry me. The only thing that consistently captures my attention is love in its many forms ... and searching for love as it manifests itself all around me every day ... Here is what my letters to you have taught me. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, whatever is happening to me, I’m fine.

Here's this morning's story with a link to her This I Believe essay.


Peggy said...

I'm not sure I'd be able to rise to this level. I think if I were Catherine I would have gotten stuck on the fact that I didn't choose to have ALS.

David Heald said...

Who knows? You might surprise yourself. Grace happens...

Geoff said...

Your honesty would surely see you through. That Grace is with you already.