On the 12th of January, 2023, my daughter Ming died in Maui. All her life she had avoided doctors and medical matters, so that by the time a biopsy revealed the cancer it was very advanced. As we expected, she refused the radiation and chemotherapy and surgery she was automatically offered, and which, at best, might only have prolonged her life a little.

Living in Hawaii, she had an option now legally available in 11 states in America: The collective name of the law is "Death With Dignity," and it allows a terminally ill patient with mental capacity and the backing of two doctors to obtain medication and choose when to end her or his own life without government interference. In Hawaii, the law is called "Our Care Our Choice Act," and it was Ming’s choice.

It would never have occurred to me that death could be beautiful. Ming’s death was deeply sad, of course; she was only 67, and she was leaving three grown children and several grandchildren as well as us, her loving brother and sister and mother and many friends. But the way she chose to leave us was truly, unforgettably, beautiful.

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