I’ve been reading Aaron Swartz’s blog lately. This is the young, brilliant man that recently killed himself. I’m sad that I won’t get to watch his storied career and life continue to unfold. Sometimes people just don’t know how to be in this world and Aaron chose a way out. I don’t fault him for it; I just feel said that he couldn’t find a way to hold on and get the help he needed.

On the other end off the spectrum of death, my mother-in-law, Marsha, recently traveled to California to be with her dying sister. After an arduous couple of weeks, Matthew’s aunt did pass away but she evidently had a hard time dying. For whatever reason, her body would just not let go and it sounds like she could have used some gracious assistance in the process. I keep wondering: Why is it that the medical profession takes an oath to save lives and will go to great lengths to do so, but cannot assist in the ending of lives? It seems only humane to help when the inevitable is near. Granted, there is great debate over when and how these choices could or should be made and by whom, and I don’t know all the laws and arguments on this topic, but I wish that Marsha’s sister could have passed in a more peaceful way.

Unfortunately, death was the only option Aaron Swartz could see to end his pain. In the end, he made a choice that can never be changed. For Marsha’s sister, the active process of dying was played out over a longer period of time with those that loved her having few options to help her in the process.

My heart goes out to Marsha and her family as they recover from this difficult time. And my thoughts and love extend to Aaron’s family too. May all of you find peace where you are faced with outcomes that have no answer.

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