Volunteer Spotlight: Marilynn Freeman

September 14, 2015

Holistic health practitioner Marilynn Freeman of Silver City, New Mexico, became involved in issues surrounding death and empowerment more than 20 years ago. “I think that end-of-life choices really incorporate holistic-health living,” says Freeman. “I see so many people who follow what they believe to be a holistic path. Then as soon as they run into trouble, they hand themselves over to the medical community instead of looking for holistic answers and looking at their belief system.”

Freeman learned about Compassion & Choices when her husband, James “Kelly” Kindig, who had been in declining health since 2003, began seeking a way to end his increasing suffering. “There wasn’t any way that we knew of that wouldn’t implicate me. The chaplain from hospice had become friends with my husband, and he gave us a 3×5 card that read, ‘Call Compassion & Choices.’”

Through Marilynn’s commitment to honor his choice and the help of a supportive team, her husband died by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) last year, after he considered  other, more drastic, means. “A perfectly legal solution,” says Freeman. “Prison is not what I wanted to experience after the death of my husband.”

She has since become more involved with C&C’s Silver City Action Team, even helping by telling her story through a class offered by the Western Institute of Lifelong Learning on end-of-life choices. “I’m an educator at heart; that’s what I do best. And I think that we need to be having conversations about the end of life. We need to be getting our documents filled out. We need to be looking at options. So I’m happy there’s an organization that is working to promote end-of-life issues,” Freeman explains. “There are so many things in this conversation about death that are missing in our society, and I’m passionate about all of it.”

Compassion & Choices
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