Chapter 3: When plans change
If the timeline changed
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
- 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:
Angry that everything happened so fast
Grateful that their suffering ended sooner
Lost and adrift at not having had time to process what was happening
If they died naturally, that that is how their death was “meant to be
Upset that they didn’t die with medical assistance, as had been their choice
If the person delayed their MAiD date, or it was rescheduled, you may also have had mixed feelings. Click on the arrows to view some of the other ways you might be feeling if the date set for MAiD was later than planned:
Grateful you had more time together
Feeling that it was hard to prepare for their death more than once
Glad their symptoms were being managed well
Relieved that the illness/condition didn’t follow the expected path
Feeling a sense of being in ‘limbo’ while waiting for the date
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.