Let’s Pause and Reflect
by Kim Callinan
November 22, 2019
Each year we collectively move at such an accelerated pace that unless deliberate, it’s easy to overlook opportunities for reflection and gratitude. November has always been the time we do just this.
Recently we lost a powerful ally in the movement with the death of Maryland Representative Elijah E. Cummings. We still mourn the absence of his voice in the moral consciousness of our nation. A champion of civil and human rights for decades, Cummings supported Maryland’s End of Life Option Act through a letter read on the floors of the Maryland House and Senate. I am personally grateful for the courage, commitment and drive demonstrated by Rep. Cummings.
This month, we once again embraced the Day of the Dead, or “Día de Muertos,” a Mexican tradition of honoring deceased loved ones that is celebrated by Latino communities across the United States. On November 1, we held an event in San Diego, which marked the five-year anniversary of the death of Brittany Maynard. Advocates including Dan Diaz, Hanna Olivas and Amanda Vilegas shared their personal end-of-life care stories while we honored Brittany and other deceased loved ones and supporters. Unfortunately, like Brittany, too many of our supporters die before realizing the self-determination they desperately want and deserve, so we also commemorate all the storytellers and supporters we lost this past year. And it reminds us that our work must continue.
While part of November is about pausing and reflecting about those we have loved and lost, another is about celebrating the blessings of the past year. And we in this movement certainly have our fair share to be grateful for. Take a look at our 2018-2019 Annual Report to be reminded. The report covers 12 hugely successful months of advocacy, organizing, education, litigation and unwavering support for people confronting or contemplating life’s end. Each and every bit of this progress is a reflection of the leadership, dedication and generosity of our volunteers, donors and supporters. And for that and your support, my heart is filled with gratitude.
I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter and heartfelt memories.