A Christian writer who fueled the debate over assisted suicide and refused to cut her own life short in the face of terminal cancer died yesterday, according to a post on her blog. Kara Tippetts, 38, a pastor's wife and mother of four in Colorado Springs, Colo., was admitted in December to hospice care, the Washington Post had earlier reported. "I grieve as I watch her fade," wrote her husband Jason. "The peace that is in our house is amazing, peace in the midst of tears, peace in the midst of impending loss, but it is peace." Diagnosed with stage four breast cancer two years ago, Tippetts made a stir with her open letter to Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who took her own life rather than suffer what she called "a terrible" death by stage four glioblastoma. In her letter, Tippets wrote:
- "Dear heart, we simply disagree. Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known. In your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you with ... such tenderness, the opportunity of meeting you in your last moments and extending you love in your last breaths."
In a blog post titled "Homecoming," Tippetts is recalled as "an extrovert with a big, warm personality ... [who] never hesitated to share a smile and a kind word. Her personality was magnetic, attracting people of all kinds, and she treated each friend as though they were her very favorite." She is survived by husband Jason; her children Eleanor Grace, Harper Joy, Lake Edward, and Story Jane; and "countless other" family members and friends. One of those friends, a producer, has raised more than $15,000 to make a documentary about her ordeal. See the trailer here, or why the "right to die" debate is personal for an NPR host. (Read more right to die stories.)