Many of you will know KASHA member, Carol Taylor, from the Dying With Dignity (DWD) presentation that she gave to us two years ago. She also led us in a little song at December’s Festivus.
DWD is the volunteer organization of Independent Witnesses for people who choose to die invoking Medical Assistance in Dying (M.A.i.D). Dying With Dignity was dear to Carol’s heart. She hated that people would often die in pain without the ability to choose a better process.
Carol was the volunteer coordinator for the Okanagan Dying With Dignity Chapter since it started up shortly after Medical Assistance in Dying became legal in Canada, in 2016. When Carol’s breast cancer metastasized, just months ago, she knew that this is the way that she would die. Carol had witnessed many patient request forms and, now, it was her turn. She had her patient request form witnessed immediately and she chose to die on her own terms, using M.A.i.D.
Carol held an incredible Living Wake for over fifty of her loved ones at her home, the evening before her planned death. At her wake, there was upbeat, live music on Carol’s grand piano, delicious food and wine, lots of fun stories, laughter, tears, and even a marvelous performance by a drag queen, Freda Whales!
Carol thanked her friends who helped her to have a wonderful life and told everyone that she was thankful for Bill C-14. She told her circle of friends and family that we are living in the best country in the world. It isn’t perfect, she said, but it’s getting close.
Carol gave out cheques to many of her favourite organizations, including $500 to KASHA. Darrel asked Carol what she would like KASHA to do, in her honour. Carol suggested KASHA’s Greater Good Committee could arrange for members to volunteer with the newly-formed ‘Cycling Without Age’ by being volunteer pilots, as one possible initiative.
Her accountant, lawyer, and realtor were all present and she thanked them for helping her to get everything organized before her death
Carol’s adopted grandson, Anas, was by Carol’s side during the Wake. Anas came to Canada as a Syrian refugee and lived with Carol for a couple of years. Anas was the grand marshal for the Kelowna Pride Parade, in 2018.
Two of Carol’s best friends and Anas stayed over with Carol the night before her death. She chose her death without pain on January 15, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.
What an amazing woman! What an amazing way to die!