The following excerpt is from an op-ed titled, My grandmother chose a peaceful death. Every terminally ill person deserves the option, by Nathalie Touboul that first appeared in The Sacramento Bee on February 27, 2021.

One afternoon, my 92-year-old terminally ill grandmother, Bea, woke up lucid and calm from a nap at my parents’ home in Southern California and decided it was time to die.

Beate Sondhelm was born in Würzburg, Germany. At age 11, she and her family fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to Newark, New Jersey, where she became a U.S. citizen shortly after her 21st birthday. She married Martin Block, whose work as a high-energy particle physicist and professor took them with their two children, Steven and Gail, on worldwide travels.

She adapted every time she moved. She spoke four languages. She tended to her family. The perfect way to describe her is through a German expression, “Give with warm hands,” meaning to be generous not just after death, but in life. That was Bea.

Click here to read the rest of Nathalie’s op-ed.