Jane Lotter and her husband at Seattle’s Space Needle in 1980.
Jane Lotter was an accomplished Seattle novelist and columnist. When she learned that she was terminally ill, she decided to do something unsual — write her own obituary. It was published July 28.
Following is part of what Jane Lotter chose to say to her family. You can read the text in full at The Seattle Times’ website:
I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I was a lucky woman, who led a lucky existence, and for this I am grateful. I first got sick in January 2010. When the cancer recurred last year and was terminal, I decided to be joyful about having had a full life, rather than sad about having to die. Amazingly, this outlook worked for me. (Well, you know, most of the time.) Meditation and the study of Buddhist philosophy also helped me accept what I could not change. At any rate, I am at peace. And on that upbeat note, I take my mortal leave of this rollicking, revolving world-this sun, that moon, that walk around Green Lake, that stroll through the Pike Place Market, the memory of a child’s hand in mine.
My beloved Bob, Tessa, and Riley. My beloved friends and family. How precious you all have been to me. Knowing and loving each one of you was the success story of my life. Metaphorically speaking, we will meet again, joyfully, on the other side.
Beautiful day, happy to have been here.
Lotter decided to take advantage of Washington State’s Death With Dignity Act to pursue euthanasia. She died on July 18.
“Suicide is the opposite of how Jane saw her life,” her husband told The New York Times. “She loved life. She just didn’t want to end up like a fish flopping on a dock.” In the Times article, her family tells movingly of her last rites of departure.
Jane Lotter, rest in peace.
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