Wife reflects on husband’s death with dignified party: ‘There’s no roadmap’

“Everything about Dan’s death was a reflection of who he was here.”

The wife of a Keremeos man who died March 2 with help from the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program said she feels appreciation, peace and love.

During a candid interview with the Keremeos Review five days after Dan Laramie’s death and farewell party, Stef Laramie said knowing her husband’s dying wish is being fulfilled gives her great comfort.

“All Dan wanted in this later stage of his life was to teach people. Even with his death that’s what he wanted and he accomplished that. I’ve received so many wonderful messages from people thanking him and me and everyone involved for showing them there is as better way to die,” she said.

Related: Keremeos man chooses death with dignified party – music, whiskey and cigars included

After years of health struggles related to diabetes and a number of amputations and infections, Dan and Stef were faced with the reality the 68-year-old was not going to recover.

He spent the majority of the last year in hospital, suffered a stroke, lost his right leg to amputation and had other parts of his body taken or infected by gangrene. The well-known local musician (K-Town, Corner Turtles, Lulu and The Lazy Boys) could no longer play guitar.

Not long ago his medical team told the couple they needed to start getting Dan’s affairs in order. As they were grappling to understand what that meant the team made it more clear that Dan was not going to live and laid out the possible ways he could die – none of them pleasant and all included a high level of pain.

The couple had conversations about the Medical Assistance in Dying program throughout his illness, but reached a decision just three weeks ago.

Dan then decided if he was going to go he was going to do it teaching and having one hell of a party.

It was standing room only at times during his fun and music filled party at a friend’s home in Keremeos. He drank, smoked cigars, ate, laughed, and musical buddies sang and played guitar. He received a certificate from his college, the Rhodes Wellness College, for his successful completion of life. His friend played Stairway to Heaven as the doctor injected the needles and about 50 of his friends and family applauded and cheered as he took his last breaths to celebrate a life well-lived, just as he wanted.

“It’s funny or odd, people keep sending me messages that they’re sorry for my loss, and I get where they are coming from, but I don’t feel loss. I know he’s not here with us in this life but he still very much feels here. His memory lives on with this wonderful thing he did and he’s touched the lives and hearts of so many people,” Stef said.

A story about Dan’s dying wish to change mind’s about the dying process and his farewell party was released Wednesday exclusively by Black Press. Since then the story has been shared thousands of times and comments from across B.C. have poured in many from people thanking the couple for showing them a better way.

“It feels great to know that people are really getting it. I am a firm believer in dying the way that you lived. Everything about Dan’s death was a reflection of who he was here. There was so much healing through that process for his family and for people who were there and I think for people who read it or saw it after,” she said.

Stef said she hopes to write a book or some sort of roadmap for others wanting to die a similar way.

“There was no roadmap when we decided this. We just talked and Dan had things he wanted and we all did the best we could to fulfill them and we got almost everything. I did forget the whopper, but I think that’s OK,” she said with a smile. “Not everyone will get a front page or a big splashy story so I want to do something to help those people make sure they’re able to fulfill their dying wishes, their way. Being present and really talking to each other, being honest with each other and talking about the hard things is really what got us through.”

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Most Read