Woman captures heartwarming conversations with grandmother before her euthanasia
A model is supporting her terminally ill grandmother through a medically-assisted death in a heartfelt TikTok series.
Two months ago, Ali Tate's grandmother "Bubbie" was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, which she accepted without resistance.
"My grandmother decided 30 years ago that if her death would be drawn out and painful, that she was mentally and spiritually committed to medical assistance in death," Tate, 32, a mother of one in Texas, tells TODAY.com.
To Tate's knowledge, her grandmother has not chosen her death date, but it's imminent.
Tate's grandmother, who lives in Canada where medically-assisted death is legal, asked TODAY.com to not disclose her name to protect her privacy. Tate is also not revealing Bubbie's exact age for privacy reasons, although shared that she is in her "mid-80s."
Bubbie did, however, consent to participating in a TikTok series with Tate to explore her choice and discuss the death experience.
"What are your thoughts as you move closer to the date?" Tate asked Bubbie in a video.
"It's like the light at the end of the tunnel," she answered.
According to the Canadian Department of Justice, in order to qualify for a medically-assisted death, a person must be over the age of 18, "have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability," be capable of decision making and provide informed consent. That person must "have enduring and intolerable physical or psychological suffering that cannot be alleviated under conditions the person considers acceptable."
Bubbie explained that she will make an appointment on a particular day and receive an injection that puts her to sleep, followed by other injections.
"It's painless," said Bubbie, stating her preference to die at a hospital rather than home.
"I came in quietly, I'd like to go out quietly," she said, adding, "I'm looking forward to just putting it in, to being dependent, no control."
"When I'll be ready, I'll know," said Bubbie, adding of her late husband, "I do believe (he) is there saying, 'It's about time.' And I'll say, 'Hi ... I'm here. That's it."
Bubbie gave "life advice" to young people feeling upset: "Laugh, have fun, enjoy your loved ones as much as you can. Tell them you love them. Share, be open, be honest. Talk, just talk."
"If you have love in your life, hold onto it because it's so precious," she said. "Just honor love. Express it, live it."
Although the videos have gotten millions of views and likes, noting Bubbie's bravery and beauty, commenters have said that Tate is "exploiting" her grandmother and that Bubbie is "playing God."
"I have no regrets about sharing this journey," says Tate. "I wanted to have a conversation and a showing of death because it's so taboo in the West. You can see how triggered some people are; it's triggering because most haven't integrated the fact that they too, are going to die ... but (those who are dying) can teach the next generation."
Tate admits that she initially thought euthanasia was a "terrible idea" although "When it's (in your life), it becomes a pertinent issue to flesh out. What I realized is that body sovereignty is the highest value from which everything must flow."
According to Tate, Bubbie's peers and family aren't passing judgment on her decision.
"I'm proud of my family for supporting Bubbie," she says. "We're focused on her transition and giving her whatever she needs to feel at peace and that she gets the most out of life before it ends."
"I feel lucky to have her," says Tate. "I will absolutely miss her."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com