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

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

A graphic designer has created a new concept for an Abbotsford flag. (Instagram photo)
Graphic designer creates new Abbotsford flag concept

Abbotsford resident Alex Svarez shares his idea for the new “flower flag”

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before crashing the smoking truck was seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Abbotsford professional musician and music teacher Beth Nickel died on Feb. 2 at the age of 41. A concert and endowment fund have been created in her memory.
Concert and endowment fund created in memory of Abbotsford musician

Violist Beth Nickel, an instructor at Bakerview Music Academy, dies at age 41

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read