Saturday 23 November 2019

‘I just can’t keep going with everything’ - Bernadette Forde’s last letter

Bernadette Forde
Bernadette Forde Newsdesk

Gail O’Rorke was last week acquitted by a jury of attempting to help her friend, Bernadette Forde, kill herself, by making travel plans to go to the Dignitas euthanasia clinic in Switzerland. During the court proceedings, Bernadette Forde’s last letter was read to the court. Here is the full text of that letter:

“My name is Bernadette Forde and my date of birth is 16th August, 1959, and I have MS for the past 10 years and it has got very, very bad in the last number of months and I knew that it was getting bad, so I made arrangements to go to Dignitas in Zurich, but my hopes were dashed because the police got to my friend when she went to collect the tickets and I hadn’t realised up until then that Gail and my nephew, Bernard, would have got into difficulty for assisting — although they weren’t assisting they were just going to travel with me to Zurich.

I didn’t want Gail or Mary or anyone around any more if they were going to get into trouble for it. I knew that I needed to do it. I just can’t live with this anymore. My life is shit and I just can’t keep going with everything, going to the loo, with pads, with seats, everything is just a nightmare.

After the Dignitas experience, I realised that I had to do what I needed to do on my own, in case anyone would be implicated. I can’t even talk to anyone. I went online to see what help I could get. I saw a programme on the Late Late and then I found the Exit International website and started looking up what I could do.

I then managed to get a hold of this stuff from Mexico online and it was delivered to me via courier. That took over two weeks to get here. It was just so difficult. I just can’t do any of this anymore or again. Hiding it from friends has been difficult.

It’s just so unfair that I can’t contact or chat to anyone, and I have to be totally alone. But that’s just it. I got stuff from Mexico and I do intend to do it, but I can’t let anyone know. I got this dictaphone online as well, from Peats on Parnell Street. Because my writing is very bad so, as a suicide note might not be possible, so that’s why I’m using this. I have this stuff there for the guards or whatever, along with the receipt and instructions.

I hope it will make my intentions clear to anyone who wants to question it afterwards. It’s me and only me and no one else. I’m just very frustrated it has to be this way. Why is it in Ireland that I can’t get my way to Dignitas?

I just need to say that I have a real frustration and problem with the fact that cheques and withdrawals made from my account were made totally at my request. I’m housebound. I asked a friend to help and I can’t believe they would question her about that.

I got my solicitor to visit my house to find out what was legal and what wasn’t legal. I don’t want Gail or my sister Catherine to do this at my request, who I wanted to give a couple of bob to out of my account — what use is it to me that I can’t access my money?

I’m afraid questions could be asked, but there shouldn’t be a question mark because it’s what I wanted, and what else can I do? So I don’t know. I have to say this bloody country. So, anyways, that’s it. Thank you.”

Sunday Independent

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