Author(s): Deborah Ziegler
On 6 October 2014, a video of Brittany Maynard was posted to YouTube. The first words she utters, "The thoughts that go through your mind when you find out you have so little time is everything you need to say to everyone that you love." Wearing a simple black sweater, face rounded and puffy from the prescribed steroids to alleviate the pain, Brittany explains why she has chosen to end her life by her own hand, rather than waiting for the brain tumour to rob her of everything that defines who she is. Less than a month later, Brittany died in her bed surrounded by close family and friends, having taken the lethal drugs provided to her by the State of Ohio in accordance with their 'Death with Dignity' laws. Wild and Precious Life is Brittany's incredibly moving and heart-breaking true story as told by her mother, who travelled with her on the painful journey towards accepting and embracing mortality. Interspersed and paralleled with memories from Brittany's childhood, this book examines and highlights the complex relationships between mother and daughter, life and death, and holding on or letting go.
Deborah Ziegler was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 18 July 1956. Her mother was a British immigrant and her father was a child of the Oklahoma dust bowl. One of four children, she received her BA in Secondary education. Deborah went on to enjoy teaching for 15 years in both of her majors, English and Science. She received her MA in Science Education in California, where she currently lives with her husband, Gary, and two cavipoos named Bogie and Bacall. Deborah started a successful woman-owned engineering company after retiring from her teaching career. But being Brittany's mum is without a doubt her proudest accomplishment in life. Currently, Deborah speaks on behalf of end-of-life options in the hopes that one day all terminally ill people will have the right to aid in dying if they so choose.