Chapter 4: What’s different about grief after MAiD?


I've been there
Honor speaks about how everyone grieves in their own way and how they could have used more support as a family in their grief .(3:22)Video transcript
Melody shares about educating people and sharing Connie's story to help other people.(3:22)Video transcript
Don shares about the day of Jean's death.(3:22)Video transcript
What the palliative care & MAID provider says
Dr. Wiebe shares how a loss of a life is always sad.(3:22)Video transcript
Dr. Wiebe speaks about follow-up with families after their loved one has died with medical assistance.(3:22)Video transcript
Dr. Wiebe speaks about receiving feedback from families following the death of their loved one by MAID.(3:22)Video transcript

It was in keeping with how she conducted herself: she wanted to go out on her own terms.

It is absolutely different. I just wished she could have died naturally in her sleep. The days leading up to the date were so hard for all of us. As much as I tried to prepare myself, I wasn’t ready for her to die.

When you don’t know when a critically ill loved one is going to die, you hold a bit of yourself back, so you have more to give the following day. But my dad had a finite amount of time left, and I knew exactly how much it was, so I could be completely present with him.

I felt like a good son. I helped him over the finish line.

The death of someone you care about will bring grief and sorrow, no matter how they died. There are some unique aspects of an assisted death that may impact your grief and how you are thinking and feeling. This chapter will explore some of these differences.

You may find that having known the date and when their suffering would end, having had the chance for final conversations and final goodbyes, provides some comfort as you grieve; or none of that may be true for you. 

Even though the MAiD team may have done their best to prepare you, you may have been shocked at how quickly the person died. If you have never witnessed a death, the physical changes may have made you uncomfortable.

Reflective exercise

What was this like for you? What emotions or thoughts came up? What felt different for you about this MAiD death compared to other deaths?