Filmed in cinéma vérité style, this powerful film is about so much more than Death with Dignity;
it is an invitation to change the end-of-life narrative by embracing living and dying with equal measures of love.
Closed captions optional.
Living and Dying: A Love Story is an intimate family film by Sher and Rob Safran, documenting the last week of Sher’s parents’ life. Retired Kaiser Permanente surgeon, and former medical missionaries, Charlie and Francie, now in their late 80s and residing in a continuing care retirement community, have both been diagnosed with six months or fewer to live. Longtime supporters of the right-to-die movement, Charlie and Francie have chosen to use the State of Oregon’s Death with Dignity option — together.
With loving and logistical support from eldest daughter Jerilyn, medical evaluations by caring physicians, and practical information and guidance from volunteers with End of Life Choices, Charlie and Francie move through the Death with Dignity qualification process.
The family’s remarkable acceptance of death, open communication, and intentional preparation are highlighted in one extraordinary scene where Francie discusses with Jerilyn and Sher the words to use when notifying friends and relatives after she and Charlie die.
As the date for their planned death nears, their family gathers with laughter and tears to celebrate Charlie and Francie’s 70 years together, and to say goodbye. Days later, Charlie and Francie fulfill their heartfelt wish — peacefully passing, hand in hand.