Noreen Speaks: B.C.’s Noreen Campbell talks about managing fear and gaining peace of mind

Once her request for medical assistance in dying (MAID) was approved, Noreen Campbell realized that she no longer needed to be bound by fear.

The North Saanich, British Columbia resident had her request for MAID approved in August 2016, not long after the federal government passed its assisted dying legislation, Bill C-14. In the time between the approval and her peaceful death on January 12, Noreen worked closely with Jeffrey Brooks of the Dying With Dignity Canada Victoria chapter to create the Noreen Speaks video series.

In the series’ second instalment, Noreen talked candidly about how planning for a peaceful death helped mitigate her fears surrounding the dying process.

“As soon as I stopped worrying about how I would die, when I would die, how I would manage dying, I was able to really recognize how invasive those negative thoughts were in my space,” she said.

Freed from those persistent negative thoughts and fears, Noreen said that other, more positive thoughts took root. Mostly, she said, she felt “peacefulness” and “gratefulness.”

“[I also feel] wonder that I’m in the position I’m in today to believe that I do not have to become dependent on people, [and that there won’t be] more suffering.”

While Noreen acknowledged that people have different fears and different coping mechanisms, she was honest about her own personal desire to avoid prolonging her suffering. She didn't waver in her belief that every individual’s journey was specific and personal to them.

“Accept that you may well be doing the best you can,” she said. “Be patient and be kind.”

DWDC will be forever grateful to the late Noreen Campbell for sharing her story, and we thank Jeffrey Brooks for his tremendous work producing the Noreen Speaks videos. Watch the DWDC blog for future instalments of Noreen Speaks.