George, my husband of 25 years, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2015. This disease scars and damages the lung tissue, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. As the soft tissue of the lungs thickens and stiffens, symptoms worsen until it becomes impossible to breathe.

George was a loving, vibrant, proud man who always cared for others. He loved seeing people succeed and was always supportive of my endeavors. George was retired when we met, which meant we had more time to do his favourite pastime – travel. We had many wonderful adventures driving around North America.

As we learned how the disease would progress, he became adamant that he was not to be hospitalized and put on a respirator. He said he didn’t want me to have to be the one to stop treatment. I had spent many years as a critical care hospital chaplain and reassured him I would be able to convey his wishes to the doctor. Eventually he had to be on oxygen and his life became very limited and, to him, unbearable. The progression of the fibrosis brought on the loss of weight, mobility, constant physical and emotional pain. George started talking about how he needed to end his suffering.

It took some investigating but we eventually contacted the right people to start the MAID process and he was approved shortly after. He chose not to have MAID right away, then after some time just before Thanksgiving in 2020 George called the MAID provider and set a date. The last week was a bit of a whirlwind as now MAID would become a reality. We had time a few days before to have some precious time with family.

George was ready. He answered a definite yes to the provider’s questions, we made eye contact one last time, no words were needed, and he slipped peacefully away.

I am thankful for MAID Family Support and the opportunity to share George’s story so others know that they are not alone.  Although we did have a support network we didn’t have the opportunity to talk to anyone who could relate to our unique