‘If you are reading this, I am dead’: Author Wendy Mitchell dies and LEAVES open letter that is reducing readers to tears

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Author Wendy Mitchell has died years after documenting her brave battle with dementia, as she revealed her own refusal to eat or drink any more.

Mitchell, 68, of Walkington, East Yorkshire, became a best-selling writer after she was diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s in July 2014, at the age of just 58. 

At the time, she was a rota manager in the NHS and a mother to two adult daughters.

She shared her philosophical outlook on living with the disease, writing the acclaimed 2018 memoir Somebody I Used To Know and 2022’s What I Wish I Knew About Dementia.

When Paperback of Her Third Edition Will Be Published?

The paperback edition of her third book, One Last Thing: Living With The End In Mind, is due to be published next week. 

In a posthumous post shared online, the author wrote: ‘If you’re reading this, it means this has probably been posted by my daughters as I’ve sadly died. 

‘Sorry to break the news to you this way, but if I hadn’t, my inbox would eventually have been full of emails asking if I’m OK, which would have been hard for my daughters to answer…

In the end I died simply by deciding not to eat or drink any more. 

‘The last cuppa tea…my final hug in a mug, the hardest thing to let go of, much harder than the food I never craved… This wasn’t decided on a whim of self pity as you’ll discover by reading on.

About Dementia

‘Dementia is a cruel disease that plays tricks on your very existence. I’ve always been a glass half full person, trying to turn the negatives of life around and creating positives, because that’s how I cope. 

‘Well I suppose dementia was the ultimate challenge. Yes, dementia is a bummer, but oh what a life I’ve had playing games with this adversary of mine to try and stay one step ahead.

‘I’ve been resilient throughout my life, even from a young child, so resilience is inbuilt in me to cope with whatever life throws my way.

‘Who would have thought, when diagnosed all those years ago, that my life would turn out quite as it did? I’ve always liked to have a plan, something that makes me feel in control of dementia.’

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Mitchell had become an outspoken voice in the case for assisted dying in the UK. Her own wish to go to Dignitas in Switzerland at the beginning of this year was foiled when she fell and broke both wrists, as well as damaged her neck.

She wrote: ‘Sadly assisted dying isn’t an option in this country. With something that will affect 100% of the population, regardless of wealth, intelligence or ethnicity, it’s amazing how such little value is placed on the act of dying. 

Why He Feel Strongly About Assisted Dying

For those that have read my book, One Last Thing, you will understand why I feel so strongly about assisted dying. The only legal choice we shouldn’t have in life is when to be born; for everything else, we, as humans, should have a choice; a choice of how we live and a choice of how we die.

‘I’ve said for a long time that I don’t want to be an inpatient in a hospital, or a resident in a Care Home. It’s the wrong place for me; the loss of routine, familiar surroundings and people. 

‘For some they may believe it’s the right place, or they have no option. I’m NOT saying it’s wrong for everyone, I’m saying it’s wrong for me. You may say, “but my mum’s in the late stages and she’s very happy in her care home”. I’m really pleased she is, truly, I am. It’s just not the place I want to end my years.

‘My girls have always been the two most important people in my life. I didn’t take this decision lightly, without countless conversations. They were the hardest conversations I’ve ever had to put them through. 

MY CHOICE

‘This was all MY CHOICE, my decision. So please respect my daughters’ privacy, as they didn’t choose the life I chose, of standing up to and speaking out against dementia.

‘Thank you to all those who have supported me along the way…your support was invaluable.

‘So, enjoy this knowing that dementia didn’t play the winning card – I did.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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