Is Despair the only valid response?

Dear Friends for Life:   Millions of people die across the world every year: the media reports the tiniest number, like Brittany Maynard, who put their stories into the public domain claiming they alone are dying with dignity – really?

02suicIn today’s world, death has become a cheap commodityone of the many false choices which exists around us. Something false falls way short of something dignified. Is war dignified? Is abortion dignified? Is capital punishment dignified? Is euthanizing a child dignified? Is committing suicide dignified? Everyday we read and hear how cheap life has become. Dignity cannot beautify something false. Period!

Life is hard and difficult for all of us. I sympathize with Brittany Maynard and pray for her and her family; however, I cannot agree that despair is dignified, regardless of what the media says.

Life is beautiful. It points to the future. There is always hope. Suicide stops life. It destroys hope.

I also have cancer. My chances of survival are 50%. Today? Tomorrow? Next year? I don’t know. Am I happy about it? No. Am I depressed? I was very depressed in the beginning, even asking God to take me. His answer so far is still a big “NO”.

This in turn has given me a second chance to discover the beauty and value of life. I take one day at a time. I treasure each moment of each day. I have found value in suffering (both physically and psychologically) and this in turn has not only deepened my Faith but also developed a tremendous Trust in my God. Cancer has enriched the fullness of my life.

04suicWould committing suicide be “more dignified” for me? Or would it be more dignified for others not to see me suffering? Mass media would answer “yes” to both questions. On the other hand, my question to the mass media or those supporting this position is very simple: HOW would it be “more dignified” for me?

I cannot accept that the only way any of us can die with dignity is to follow Maynard to Oregon. Is despair the only valid response? From my experience the answer has to be categorically ‘NO’.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI


(The Difference is LIFE)  “It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.”  – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen



Websites by Fr. Jerry

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in English) (in Japanese)

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in Japanese)



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