Senior Archivist, Library & Archives Canada
in New Westminster
Jana Buhlmann is new to New Westminster, having moved here in June of 2017 after 14 years in Burnaby. She has worked for Library & Archives Canada for 20 years, presently a senior archivist focused on special projects. Jana has spent close to a decade pursuing a growing role as an advocate in various areas of health care including autoimmune alopecia, and most recently, patient and caregiver advocacy after the assisted death of her husband Chris in September of 2017. Jana's experience with Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is something she has written about in her blog, www.bringthejoy.blog. She can also be found on Twitter @baldgrrl. For PKNW21, Jana will be telling us about how stories trump fear.
Stories Trump Fear
BY JANA BUHLMANN
@ VOL 21
ON NOV 17, 2018
In her presentation, Jana Buhlmann talks about how her husband was the first person in New Westminster to receive Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). They knew each other less than three years, but in that time they lived, loved, married, grieved, and shared the passage of his spirit. His story is an important one because he did not find the peace that many do, in choosing an assisted death. He died angry and afraid, but also overtly chose his death because it was suffering he feared. Jana gives us the story of her husband squashed into 20 second bits, as an opportunity to consider the idea that death is an integral part of life, to be considered, discussed, and even - perhaps - celebrated, if one can open their heart that wide.