In 2013, Betsy Davis was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, but recently, her condition had become worse.
When California, her home state, passed a law allowing the terminally ill to seek medical help to end their life, the 41-year-old decided to do just that.
But first, she wanted to say goodbye to her friends. Her story is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful.
In early July, Betsty Davis, 41, invited her 30 closest friends to a two-day celebration.
"These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness and openness," Betsy advised her guests in the email invitation, according to the AP.
The invitation was to Betsy's farewell party. She suffered from ALS, which is incurable, and decided to get euthanasia, which has been legal in California since earlier this year.
The 41-year-old artist wanted to say a proper farewell to her friends with a feast filled with laughter and happy faces. However, there was one rule for guests: no crying in front of her.
"For me and everyone who was invited, it was very challenging to consider, but there was no question that we would be there for her," her friend Niels Alpert told the AP.
During the weekend of July 23-24, Betsy Davis said goodbye to her closest friends in her hometown of Ojai in Southern California. Friends drank cocktails and ate pizza from a local restaurant. Some of her guests brought instruments and played for Betsy as she lay in a bed on her porch.
At the beginning of the weekend, Betsy's friends got a chance to to kiss and hug her goodbye. And then at 7:45 Sunday evening, they rolled Betsy out to watch the sunset while she took a combination of prescription drugs. Four hours later, she passed away.
"What Betsy did gave her the most beautiful death that any person could ever wish for. By taking charge, she turned her departure into a work of art," Niels Alpert told the AP.
If you were also touched by Betsy's dignity and grace at the end of her life, please share her story with others.
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