Brenda Willis is an advertising coordinator in Dallas, Texas.

I watched both my very dear grandparents suffer until their deaths from cancer. My grandfather died from pancreatic cancer 14 years ago; my grandmother from breast cancer five years ago.

Brenda Willis’s grandparents

As devout Catholics who prayed every day, they would likely not have chosen Death with Dignity even if it had been legal in Texas. But I wonder what last memory they would have chosen for their family to have of them: one of peace and closure at home where I used to visit them in summertime and on weekends, or one that actually happened. They each died in a cold, sterile room, starving themselves to death and pumped with morphine.

Brenda Willis with her grandmother

When I saw the documentary How to Die in Oregon, it hit me that I am not the only one who believes that Death with Dignity should be legal everywhere for those who are dying from a terminal illness. I want everyone to have a choice. It might not be for you, for religious or any other reason, but you should have the option to die peacefully if you have an illness that is killing you.

Brenda Willis with her grandfather

I want people to stay out of my personal business. If you aren’t hurting anyone or if your decision does not affect them personally, it’s not their decision to make. I don’t want anybody to make the decision for me.