In 2018 my beloved mother chose to end her life with MAID. There was never any hesitation in her decision – after her congestive heart failure progressed and she was admitted to palliative care we knew what her next step would be. Even though this was her decision to make we fully supported her choice. Our family has never been afraid to discuss death. It is inevitable and choosing to die on your own terms makes sense to us.

My mother grew up in the Okanagan and followed my father back to his small hometown in Alberta to raise a family. She chose to stay at home while we were growing up and when I was older she made the decision to open a second-hand clothing store. She ran it for almost 30 years, which was amazing considering many businesses in the area came and went quickly. It was hard work, but the store was important to a great deal of people in the community. It was a social spot for visits for many in the community and a special place for seniors who looked forward to their almost daily visits with her. She was always willing to take the time to listen to you. She also helped out many who were struggling simply by having a store with affordable clothes, lending money, or extending credit to someone in need. There was never any hesitation in her decision to offer a hand. We were all proud of her and what she had achieved.

When the decision to perform MAID was finalized, her hospital room became a welcome place to say goodbye to this great lady. We have fond memories of those final days with all her friends coming to say goodbye. To us it was such a blessing to be able to celebrate life in this way instead of having a funeral after her death. She was in good spirits and was able to laugh and joke with everyone around her. We were so proud of her and it gave us so much joy to see all the people whom she touched with her everlasting kindness. With our family surrounding her the nurses and doctor came in to perform the procedure. I told her I was proud of her and loved her as she quickly slipped away. It was a dignified and peaceful end to a wonderful life.