Hello, my name is Chelsea Peddle. I’m a mum to two little ones ages four and seven in Victoria, B.C. I started my career in the non-profit sector delivering social justice programs with youth, then worked for nine years in the public service in youth violence prevention and maternal health policy. In 2017, I had a calling to shift my focus to the other end of the lifespan, so I began supporting individuals and families to prepare for end of life.
Though I’ve worked as an end-of-life educator and guide for a couple years, MAID only recently became a pivotal part of my life. In June 2019, my mum chose to have a medically assisted death after living gracefully with brain cancer for a brief time. Since then, I’ve come to understand that it is possible for two opposing things to be true at the same time:
1) I did not want my mum to have an assisted death, AND
2) Being a part of her MAID journey was one of the most transformative, joyful and profoundly loving experiences of my life.
I’m drawn to the FPWC because I believe many of us are struggling with this duality. As loved ones of a person choosing MAID, how do we reconcile our own beliefs and preferences with their right to choose an assisted death? How can we nurture our relationships in these final months and days and openly experience our grief? What tools and supports do families — especially families with young children — need to have conversations about MAID?
There is so much to learn by meeting people where they are at in their journey. It’s a great honor to be a part of this council and I look forward to exploring these and other questions with curiosity and compassion.