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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

there is life in being deaf-blind

Blurb: In another nation, deaf-blind twins chose to die. I'm here
to tell you that there is life in being deaf-blind.


The deaf-blind community is buzzing with the tragic news of
Belgium twins who committed legal assisted suicide. Reactions
range from sorrow to horror and, for some, perceived
understanding.

The general public is also talking about this incident. They tend
to be sympathetic. Many claim they would have done the same
things. Some even say it's a beautiful story. The twins knew
there was no hope left for living and chose to leave this world
together.

Marc and Eddy Verbessem were 45 year old identical twin brothers.
They were born deaf and used "home signs" to communicate with
each and close family members. As their vision began to decline,
the twins saw no future in a life without sight and the ability
to communicate. It is said they may have suffered other physical
disabilities and pain. Specific details have not been released.

What we do know is that the brothers embarked on a two year court
battle to be granted the right to euthanasia. Despite the fact
that they did not have a terminal illness, their wish was carried
out when a doctor administered lethal injection to Marc and eddy.

It is a sad, emotion story... And it is wrong! There is nothing
lovely or beautiful about what occurred. The brother committed
suicide while people nodded and said, "I don't blame them at
all."

Since when is deaf-blindness a death sentence? Who says there's
no quality of life as a deaf-blind person? How can anyone
possible claim such lives are wroth destroying?

I am deaf-blind, and I have other physical problems. I've gone
through the worst hell imaginable, as a mind trapped in a useless
body. Despite the pain, suffering and overwhelming despair, I
crawled my way out and found the path toward life.

No one can say if the twins had a support network. I can tell you
that I did not. I lived in a state of abuse and constant fear. My
family was far away. The system decided I was too disabled to be
helped. But I was not about to give up and die.

I found life in being a mother, a student, a writer, a volunteer,
a leader and survivor. I chose life with every step I take, every
blog I write and every activity I do. I chose life in learning
braille, tactile sign language and how to see with my hands. I
chose life through the love of my family and the support of my
friends. I chose life each time I smile, or laugh. I found life
inside of me, in my beating heart, willful spirit and stubborn
determination.

There is life in being deaf-blind. If you can't find it, just
look at me. I exist in a state of happiness and fulfillment
despite, or maybe because of, my disabilities.

Look beyond the disability. Wipe away your own sadness. Open your
eyes to a different sort of living. It's not about what we don't
have, and what we can't do. It's about who we are, and what we
do.

Marc and Eddy Verbessem were lost in a black hole of depression.
They felt such strong fear and loss, they could no longer see a
future. They aren't the only ones who have fallen into this trap.
Instead of applauding their bravery in dying, society should be
finding ways to help people in similar situations.

I stood in their shoes... I live in their shoes. I stared death
in the eye, and I said "no." I chose to move on because there is
life in being deaf-blind.

1 comment:

  1. I feel it's horrible as well... my son Kodiak is DeafBlind...
    www.kodiakmylittlegrizzly.com

    When I saw this in the news I wrote how horrible I felt about it.

    ReplyDelete

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