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Most Americans have a special way of discussing issues of death: ignore it. In this new documentary series, five terminally ill people break that silence, offering testimonies about life, faith, love, and fear from a place where death is imminent.
One of the most surprising things for Linda about being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer was how clearly she was able to see which relationships were most meaningful—and therefore worth her dwindling energy.
There was a time when Brian, 64, said he felt he knew for sure what happens after death. Then, in 2013, he was diagnosed with ALS, but despite believing he no longer had a future, he went on to run around 50 marathons and even to remarry.
When chemotherapy no longer seemed to be working on Lee’s cancer, she had to decide whether to keep pursuing treatment or accept what her body was telling her. Her five children were clear about how they felt: it was her body, and her decision.
David, 54, said in summer 2018 that he didn’t know how his ALS would progress. But one thing his fall 2017 diagnosis had made him even more certain about was the profound importance of his family and his Christian faith.
“Nature gives us a chance to have a last gift, which is really to give up our bodies so that there is more room for others to be born,” Sally, 84, told director Scott Z. Burns when he filmed her back in summer 2018.