Kara Tippets is dying of stage 4 metastatic cancer. All the while, Kara Tippets is living life to the fullest. This beautiful wife, mother of four and follower of Jesus Christ is on a journey to find beauty in the midst of suffering. Her blog, ‘Mundane Faithfulness’ tells the story of her courageous battle.
Kara recently wrote a heartfelt letter to 29-year-old Brittany Maynard. Maynard, who is also dying of cancer, is best known for a video expressing her plan to commit doctor assisted suicide on Nov 1st.
Kara’s letter is full of empathy and compassion. She tells Brittany her heart aches for her. She lets her know she’s grieved by her pain and praying for her. She also affirms Brittany’s decision to tell her story:
Brittany, your life matters, your story matters, and your suffering matters. Thank you for stepping out from the privacy of your story and sharing it openly.
We see you, we see your life, and there are countless lovers of your heart that are praying you would change your mind.
Brittany, I love you, and I’m sorry you are dying. I am sorry that we are both being asked to walk a road that feels simply impossible to walk.
I think the telling of your story is important.
I think it is good for our culture to know what is happening in Oregon.
It’s a discussion that needs to be brought out of the quiet corners and brought brightly into the light. You sharing your story has done that. It matters, and it is unbelievably important. Thank you.
In order to truly show love to others we must be willing to give hard truths. Kara tenderly lets Brittany know she disagrees with her decision. She tells her that suffering is not the absence of goodness or beauty, but it’s the place where true beauty can be known. She believes that in choosing death, Brittany is robbing those that love her of extending love to her in her final hours. She is also robbing herself of embracing the beauty found in suffering.
That last kiss, that last warm touch, that last breath, matters — but it was never intended for us to decide when that last breath is breathed.
Kara tells Brittany that she’s been told a horrible lie. She’s been told that her dying won’t be beautiful and the suffering will be too great. She also speaks out against the doctor assisting with her suicide. She writes that the doctor has walked away from the Hippocratic oath that says, “first, do no harm.” This doctor has chosen to walk away from protecting life.
I appreciate Kara’s letter because it’s written from a place of empathy and love. The letter is not a rebuke to Brittany, but rather a letter urging her to see the value in her life.
As pro-lifers we must understand the fight against the culture of death has many battlegrounds. From the womb to the tomb, cradle to the grave, life is worth protecting. Doctor assisted suicide is being masked as a merciful act. In reality the advancement of this cause will lead to a scary and slippery slope in America. How much pain will someone need to be in to take their life? What condition or disease will justify swallowing poison? Will those who chose to suffer through illness be pitied while those who take their life are considered brave? This is the road Brittany and the ‘right to die’ advocates are taking us down.
I pray Kara’s letter gets to Brittany. I pray it touches her heart and helps her to see that even one more day is worth fighting for.