I live in Alberta, I am Métis, and I have experienced the loss of both of my parents due to lung cancer. They both chose to have an assisted death. My mom died in 2017 when the legislation was less than a year old with a little more than three weeks between her diagnosis and death. She was in excruciating pain during that time. My dad died in July 2020 five years after his diagnosis. Being present with them both, along with my extended family through those powerful times, has bonded us in more ways than I can describe, and cemented my connections to the Métis Nation.

In the moments when this was all happening though, I was so busy with getting my own head around the concept, the impending loss, the rules/processes about MAID, and the practical caregiving and running to my parents’ sides that I know that I missed some important reflection time for myself.

I think having the support of MAID Family Support Society would have been extremely helpful to me if it had been available because:
– I didn’t know what kinds of questions to ask anyone. I felt very alone. especially the first time.
– I worried how much to talk about MAID in case it was seen as influencing and that others would judge my parents for their choices.
– I would have appreciated talking with someone who understood that this is not just a legal process but a very human experience first and foremost.

As a MAID Family Support Society volunteer I look forward to listening to anyone going through assisted dying with a loved one, and who needs to talk with someone who has been there.