Brittany Maynard’s Widower Dan Diaz Speaks Out One Year Later: “We Have to Advocate for Our Loved Ones”

Dan Diaz and Brittany Maynard
Dan Diaz, the widower of Brittany Maynard, spoke out a year after her death.  Courtesy of The Meredith Vieira Show

Continuing the cause. On Nov. 1, Brittany Maynard peacefully ended her life  at age 29 after months of advocating the controversial right-to-die movement while suffering from a terminal cancer diagnosis. Almost a year later, her widower, Dan Diaz, penned an essay for Time magazine about his efforts to continue Maynard's fight. 

"I’ve spent almost a year without my wife, Brittany Maynard, who passed away last November," he wrote. "But in some sense, she has been entirely present."

He went on to praise California's End of Life Options Bill, which passed on the Senate Floor last week, allowing it to reach Governor Jerry Brown for final approval. The bill means that no one choosing to end their life will have to leave their home to do so. 

Diaz went on to personally thank each politician involved with the effort to get the bill passed. 

"But most of all this effort needed Brittany, who shared her story of the symptoms that she was enduring as she battled the brain tumor that was ending her life," he continued. "Brittany didn’t intend to be the 'face of this movement' as she was labeled. My beautiful and courageous wife simply wanted the ability to have a gentle death, just as anyone would want."

In the past year, Diaz has learned some valuable lessons. 

"I know what it is like to hold a person in your arms as they are dying," he wrote. "I’ve learned that we have to advocate for our loved ones. We have to continue to work with the caring and compassionate medical community to keep our loved ones comfortable at the end of life."

He ended his essay with one final message, writing, "I learned that one voice truly can make a difference in this world. Brittany’s certainly did."

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