Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Peaceful Death.

Risa's Pieces recounts the peaceful death of a woman in Washington state:

We arrived early on a chilly morning. The home was spotless and charming, embossed with her favorite colors, reds and pinks. Her daughters were gracious, relieved to have support, offered us coffee. We sat at the kitchen table and opened the 90 barbiturate capsules, briskly tapping them and then using a toothpick to remove all of the white powder. We dissolved it in 4 ounces of cranberry juice. About 30 minutes ahead of the time she had chosen, she took pills to quiet the stomach and chase away nausea. Everyone seemed both sad and peaceful. She held the glass with both hands—a bit unsteady, sitting in a rocking chair, bright red afghan across her legs—and took two long deliberate swallows. There was a sweet, tearful hug for each daughter just after she finished. She relaxed back in her chair, smiled gently, and was asleep in about 5 minutes. There was no struggle. No noise or movement. Twenty minutes later, there was no heartbeat.

It was the most peaceful death I have ever seen.

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