Kara Tippetts, a gentle voice against assisted suicide, dies

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

(FACEBOOK)Kara and husband Jason share a tender moment with their four children in the background.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Christian Examiner) -- The terminally ill woman who publicly pleaded with Brittany Maynard to reconsider her November plans for a physician-assisted suicide died Sunday.

Kara Tippetts, 38, published an open letter to Maynard after her choice to "die with dignity" on Nov. 1 made headlines. Her gentle message to Maynard was delivered with love and thanks for bringing light to a conversation about the right to die--though "hastening" her own death was never a thought for the mother of four young children.

"I feel like our breaths are exactly numbered and I get to be faithful to today," Tippetts told Christian Examiner of her own illness in an interview last November. "I have this one voice God has given me to share that brokenness can be beautiful."

Long before Tippetts, a pastor's wife, stepped into Maynard's story, she already was capturing readers by sharing her message of God's presence in her pain through her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. She and her husband Jason and their children had moved to Colorado to plant a church shortly before she received her cancer diagnosis.

In a book "The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard" about her cancer journey released last October, Tippetts shared transparently about her family, her sickness and eventual death. In her writing, she challenged readers and inspired them to live each day.

"Brokenness isn't a mistake or the absence of God's goodness. I think my story kind of highlights that," Kara Tippetts told Christian Examiner.

Despite her terminal illness that began as breast cancer in August 2012, Tippets seemed to refuse to question God's plan.

Tippetts said after seeing her first mammogram she felt she would be fortunate if it didn't spread. "I was saddened when I got my metastatic diagnosis, but I wasn't necessarily surprised," Tippetts had said recalling the early days of her illness.

Even then she said an important thing to her was to share with others that God was present in her difficulty.

"In a world that loves health and wealth (it's important) to begin to look at the hard corners of life as not being a mistake," she said.

"There are so many who are suffering and are doing it quietly. We need to do it in community. We are meant to live in community with one another and carry each others burdens."

Ultimately, Tippetts' seemed to believe that her story was intended to help others through their hardships and difficulties.

"Its a privilege to walk with the broken," she said of walking through the valley of death. "It grows empathy and compassion in the fall."

In a demonstration of community support a family friend created a documentary film that was funded by Tippetts' supporters. Friends and family donated $15,000 to Jay Lyons, the projects' producer.

A trailer for the film featuring the Tippetts' last days captures her bravery as well as her humanity.

"I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to."

According to Religion News, Tippetts' husband Jason and their friends wrote most of the final blog entries on the Mundane Faithfulness site. But in one of her last posts, Tippetts wrote: "My little body has grown tired of battle, and treatment is no longer helping. But what I see, what I know, what I have is Jesus. He has still given me breath, and with it I pray I would live well and fade well."