Our own community has a shining counter-example to Brittany Maynard’s tragic decision to end her life on November 1st. Joshua Comeau, native of Mishawaka, father of seven (six living), and parishioner at Queen of Peace, had stage four glioblastoma, the same diagnosis as Maynard. Comeau, however, is not trying to control the story of his life or lessen his suffering. He sees that God’s grace is holding his family during this difficult time and giving him the strength to face this reality with peace and even humor. “I don’t really know, except by God’s grace and mercy, how we’ve accepted this situation…for as long as God wants it to be.” Comeau attributes much of his positive and courageous attitude to his happy marriage to his wife, Rosary, and the faith that they share together. He takes every day that God gives him to be with his wife and children, and he does not dwell on the “what ifs” involved with having a terminal illness, placing his life and his family’s future in God’s hands.
Though Josh was given 16 months to live, three years later he is cancer-free and continues to live every day to the fullest. though the treatments he received were supposed to eliminate all possibility of conceiving children, Josh and rosary welcomed their seventh child, Zeke, several months ago. Josh Comeau and his family are courageous witnesses to our belief in the infinite worth of every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. He does not wish for suffering, but he is not running from it, and God willing, his story will bring many to understand the true meaning of human dignity.