It comes with great sadness to announce that Ed Brayton of Patheos Nonreligious’ Dispatches from the Culture Wars has decided to write his last blog post there for Patheos in the light of opting for palliative care. In his final piece, “Saying Goodbye for the Last Time“, he states:
Some of you no doubt know this already, but I have decided to end my battle to the death with death. I’m entering hospice care and would like to slip into the eternal abyss in the next couple weeks. I reached the point where I simply have no fight left in me. I wish it were not so. But I have a few things to say first.
First, a profound thank you to those of you who turned this blog into a community. It has meant the world to me that it has become not merely a place for me to write, but a place where we shared ideas and values and helped fight the battles for equality, justice and liberty. Thank you all so much. Also to my fellow bloggers here. You have all added to my life immeasurably and I am forever grateful.
I’m also very grateful for an amazing group of friends and family who have gone way above and beyond to support me and love me. And to the doctors, nurses and aides who have taken care of me along the way. But it’s a time like this that makes one evaluate their life and most important beliefs. So, to that task.
I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid to die painfully and with suffering. My hope is that hospice will put me on a morphine or dilaudid drip and knock me out so I don’t feel anything, then I can just slip away. That’s essentially what happened with my dear friend Connie a few years ago. And I hope we can do it at home, as we did with her. I’d rather be with loved ones than in a facility. I’ll stay either with my best friend Rick or my parents.
Regrets? Mostly about the things I’ll never get to do now. I would love to have made Secular Quemanism a reality. Perhaps someone else can run with the idea now in my place (Mike Slomka? Bueller?) I still think it’s a great and important idea. I won’t be able to continue to advocate for humanism as an important philosophy. That sucks. I just have so much more to say and do.
My greatest hope is that after I’m gone the world continues to become more fair, just and equal. What else could we possibly hope for and work for? I urge you all to keep fighting the good fight for those core values. Who should you look to for leadership? I nominate Dale McGowan, the finest example of humanism I know, and Matt Dillahunty. They should be the public face and voice of this movement, not Dawkins or Krauss or Shermer.
Don’t be sad about this, be hopeful. I got to make the decision myself and spare others from that awful task. I did it while still of sound mind, if not body. That means the world to me. I maintained my self-determination until the end.
In closing, let me just say thank you again. You made my life better, richer and more fulfilled and who could ask for more? Goodbye, one and all. I will miss you as I hope you will miss me. Be good to each other along this incredible journey.
Please go and give him your best humanist regards, or any decent regards, at his blog post. He was a well-respected, big figure in the freethought world and will be sorely missed, especially in his articles and thoughts concerning his expertise on civil liberties and the separation of church and state. May his final days be filled with joy and love, for him and those around him.
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