Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

There's No Real Precedent For This Feeling

Some of you may recall Heather MacAllister, the head of Big Burlesque and the Fat Bottom Revue. You might also remember the Benefat at the Center for Sex and Culture in support of her fight against cancer.

Tonight, we received word that Heather is opting for assisted suicide under Oregon state law. It was supposed to happen today, but due to some bureaucratic  speed bumps it's been postponed -- to 8 AM tomorrow morning, PST.

I have no personal experience to draw upon here. She's not dead, but her death is imminent. Unlike other terminal situations, the date and time of this moment has been set according to the laws of the state of Oregon, wherein a prescription is filled, she takes some pills, falls asleep... permanently.

As a pagan I tend to view suicide as a very serious decision. From that perspective most cases suicide can be viewed as "skipping class", avoiding an important life lesson. Only you're not avoiding it according to my spiritual world view so much as postponing it -- it's like skipping an icky graduate level course and having to start over from pre-school.

Yet I always believed that we all have that choice, and that mis-guided attempts to stop some suicides are demeaning and patronizing -- sure, we should always strive to make certain that it's really the choice they want to make, as it's irrevocable. But if there's no other alternative, it's the worst form of selfishness -- forcing someone to endure existence because we can't let them leave.

So I'm dealing with the an intense wash of emotions. I knew her personally, so there's that. Roni's dealing with her stuff. It's this weird combination of anticipation and mourning. I know, there's that "celebration of her life" that I hope we all can come to eventually -- but right now, I'm just in shock.

Do yourselves a favor -- call, hold, or otherwise contact someone you love. Right now. And tell them you love them.

'Nuff said.
Tags: personal
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