My Dad died through the MAID program on June 1, 2022.

My sister, Fiona, and I live in Scotland and Austria, respectively, so due to COVID restrictions we were not able to see Dad for close to 3 years until we all met in Scotland in April 2022 with our families. We had a “Christmas in Scotland” with turkey, Secret Santa, decorations and lots of Christmas cheer. However, we noticed that Dad was slowing down. In May he telephoned us to say that he was not feeling well at all so we encouraged him to go to the hospital immediately. He learned that he had lung cancer and other secondary cancers and that these were terminal.

Fiona and I flew to Canada immediately. By the time we landed in Canada, Dad had already done his research on MAID and knew that was what he wanted. Living abroad, we didn’t know that MAID existed in Canada so we had to get our head around the idea very quickly. Dad was ex-military and taught chemistry for decades so he was very scientific in his research and approach. We fully supported Dad in his decision.

Over the coming weeks, Dad had wonderful support as he prepared for his death. He met with friends and colleagues, played cribbage and enjoyed ice wine with friends. Fiona and I traveled back and forth between Europe and Canada to be with him. Our family does dark humour well, so we had more than a few laughs, and a few tears, as we said good-bye to Dad and allowed him to die on his terms.

We also had wonderful advice and support about MAID and what to expect. There are many things about MAID that don’t fall into the “usual” death category and we are happy that we had people with whom we could talk about MAID. I am volunteering with MAID Family Support Society so that I can share our experience with the hope that it can help others on this journey.