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Brittany’s Legacy

November 1, 2017

By Deborah Ziegler


Today I walked through magnificent trees at the Sequoia National Park, remembering my only child, Brittany. Exactly three years ago, on November 1, 2014 we walked our last walk together through the woods in Portland. On that day she ended her suffering by taking a prescription that allowed her to escape the terrible death her brain tumor held in store for her and to die in a peaceful sleep.

Every morning I’ve struggled to accept that it is not a dream: my daughter is really gone. Yet though I am grieving, I am deeply at peace. It would be impossible to spend the anniversary of Brittany’s death anywhere except in nature. I am exactly where Brittany would want me to be—and I am doing exactly what Brittany asked of me: speaking up for those who are terminally ill.

Brittany knew that she would not live to see the results of her advocacy, and she called on me to carry it on in her name. I am more committed than ever to working with the Death with Dignity National Center in order to continue the important task they started so long ago when they drafted and campaigned for the passage of the law Brittany used.

Will you help me carry on Brittany’s legacy?

Join me in helping to ensure qualified terminally ill Americans can make their own end-of-life decisions, including how they die. Together, with your contribution, we can make a difference.

Though I suspect that I will always struggle with grief, I’m proud to be working with a forward-thinking group of individuals who have been instrumental in bringing the law to four other states and our nation’s capital and who keep fighting for all Americans to have the same option my daughter did.

I will keep telling my daughter’s story, advocating for the same right she had, and supporting Death with Dignity National Center in their work. Please join me by contributing today.

Thank you for standing with me and helping to carry on Brittany’s legacy.

About the Author

Deborah Ziegler is the author of Wild and Precious Life, a memoir about her daughter’s final year, a national speaker on end-of-life issues, and a member of our Board of Directors.

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