Chapter 3: When plans change

If the timeline changed

What the grief expert says
Fred speaks about supporting people when they have second thoughts or want to change the date.(3:22)Video transcript
I've been there
Micha speaks about how Valerie was ready for MAID.(3:22)Video transcript

She started to go downhill very quickly. The MAiD team was able to move up the date. All of a sudden, things moved at warp speed. We were grateful that she got her wish, but I felt we weren’t prepared and that we lost those five precious days with her.

In the end, our brother wanted to say goodbye in person, and so the date was changed because he had to travel to get here. It was disorienting to be mentally prepared for this big thing and then to have it delayed. We were glad for the extra seven days with her, but it added to the feelings of being on a roller coaster.

Knowing the date of the medically assisted death might have made space for conversations, gathering family, and final goodbyes. For various reasons, sometimes the timeline changes, which may have left you feeling suddenly unprepared. This may have happened because:

  • The person decided to delay the date
  • The person decided on an earlier date because they were declining quickly
  • The person decided on an earlier date because they were finding their suffering unbearable
  • The person died before the date set for MAiD

If the person’s date for MAiD was brought forward, or if they died before they were able to receive MAiD, you may have had mixed feelings. Click on the arrows to view some of the other ways you might be feeling if their death was sooner than planned:

What may help

It may be helpful to know that it is normal for any of these feelings to dominate your grief for some time.

Many people have found it helpful to express and acknowledge their feelings to a trusted friend or family member or in writing.