Brittany Maynard's love for her husband Dan Diaz – strong to the end

  • Brittany Maynard Diaz and her husband, Dan Diaz, after their wedding in 2012.

    Brittany Maynard Diaz and her husband, Dan Diaz, after their wedding in 2012.  (Facebook)

  • Brittany Maynard Diaz and her husband, Dan Diaz.

    Brittany Maynard Diaz and her husband, Dan Diaz.  (Facebook)

  • Brittany Maynard Diaz and Dan Diaz on their wedding day in September, 2012.

    Brittany Maynard Diaz and Dan Diaz on their wedding day in September, 2012.  (Facebook)

She was near the end of her brief life.

But knowing the days were numbered, one of the things that Brittany Maynard Diaz, 29, took time to do – amid the pain that was wracking her body and usurping her memory – was update her Facebook profile picture to reflect a happier time.

The picture was taken two years ago, and Brittany was with her new groom, Daniel Esteban Diaz, at the Beltane Ranch, a vacation spot on a hillside with a breathtaking view of the Sonoma Valley.

“The Morning After Our Wedding!” Brittany, then 27, wrote on her Facebook post on Oct. 21.

“This was our first ‘official day’ of marriage. I love you babe, & cheers to us just celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, and in the face of so much pain this past year and all of our enormous challenges with my illness... still my heart is so full of love for you, my dear husband Dan Diaz. So grateful for all the love we have in our life.”

Days before, on Oct. 17, Dan had updated his Facebook profile picture to one of them kissing on their wedding day.

Brittany, who was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, revived a national debate about physician-assisted suicide when she took her decision public to end her life by swallowing lethal drugs made available under an Oregon law allowing terminally ill people to choose when to die.

Brittany, who died Saturday, as she had planned, would have been 30 on Nov. 19.

She had been in the spotlight for about a month since publicizing that she and Dan moved to Portland from Northern California so that she could take advantage of the Oregon law. She told journalists she planned to die Nov. 1, shortly after her husband’s birthday, but reserved the right to move the date forward or push it back.

Of her timing her death after Dan’s 43d birthday, Brittany said: “It’s very important to me that I live to celebrate” his birthday.”

Throughout her public comments about her ordeal, Brittany spoke of her husband, and how their tight bond had made her happy from the time they became close, and made her strong and spiritual after she learned of her terminal illness.

Indeed, their apparent compassion for each other remained striking as her health worsened. In recent days, when she spoke of her decision – highly controversial, and criticized by many religious groups – she said that the seizures and headaches and paralysis had grown more frequent and debilitating.

At one point, she said, after suffering a seizure, she looked at Dan, knew that she was looking at her husband, but could not remember his name.

She called Dan “a hero,” and said such things as simple walks alone with him helped her get through her difficult days, even find some happiness in them.

In a post this year, she wrote: “Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family…I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero.”

She and Dan met in 2007 on and became best friends.

They married in the fall of 2012.

She was diagnosed with brain cancer on New Year’s Day of this year and was later told she had six months to live.

They had decided to start a family before she was told she had just months left. Then, the two focused on Brittany, and making her remaining time as fulfilling as possible.

They took a trip to the Grand Canyon last month — fulfilling a wish on Brittany’s ‘‘bucket list.’’

Dan said in a video on Brittany’s decision, “It sounds so cliché, we take things one day at a time but that’s the only way to get through this. You take away all of the material stuff, all the nonsense we all seem to latch onto as a society, and you realize that those moments are really what matter.” noted that “Maynard’s most telling words about her marriage are offered in a new video, posted Wednesday night, during which she tearfully describes her hopes for Diaz’s life after her death.”

“My husband is such a lovely man, I want him to — you know, I understand everyone needs to grieve ­—but I want him to be happy, so I want him to have a family,” Brittany said in that video.

She recorded it with the assistance of Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit working to expand end-of-life options.

“I know that might sound weird," Brittany said in the video, record about two weeks ago. "But there’s no part of me that wants him to live out the rest of his life just missing his wife. So I hope he moves on and becomes a father.”

‘‘She died as she intended — peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones,’’ said Sean Crowley, a spokesman for the advocacy group Compassion & Choices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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