Once I could get my emotions in check, I felt compelled to respond to the commentary from Kristen Hanson and Joanne Van Loenen  in the Press Herald (April 10), which argued against assisted suicide.

While I respect said opinion and choice, the choice for me is not theirs to make. I have a dog in this fight, as I, too, lost my husband of 48 years, and best friend, to this very same nasty cancer. Three girls lost the best dad ever, eight grandchildren were made to forfeit the best hero and role model on this Earth and a man with a 40-year career never got to retire.

The 12 to 18 months we were quoted turned out to be less than seven. The last 3½ weeks were a horror than no one should have to watch a loved one suffer through.

It definitely had nothing to do with inconvenience or caregiving. The pain was literally unmanageable, even with the strongest available medicine given as frequently as it could be given.

I spent every hour of this hospital time beside him and it was literally hell on this Earth. This is my last visual of this wonderful man, who suffered in the end in a way that is inhuman. Had there been a choice, I know very clearly what his would have been. The term “assisted suicide” is of course inflammatory, with that purpose in mind, no doubt.

Death with Dignity speaks to what it really would mean. I have signed every petition, and will vote for it as I have in the past, but with much more conviction now. Freedom is synonymous with choice here in America, at least for now. I ask that you don’t make mine for me and others who feel like I do, and I will respect your right to make yours for you and your loved ones, suffering if you so choose.

Marcia J. Syvinski

South Berwick

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