You’re probably well aware by now that Elizabeth Taylor died yesterday. She was a true legend in an era when that word is being tossed around to describe people who are really undeserving of it.

But what you might not know is that she died in pain. The last few weeks of her life were miserable. Debbie Reynolds, whose husband Liz stole decades ago but who later became a good friend, spoke to Ms. Taylor a couple of weeks before she died and Liz told her getting old was “really shitty” and that she was in a lot of pain. Reynolds told her the only thing you can say when you can’t do a darn thing about someone’s awful situation: hang in there.

There isn’t a shred of evidence that Elizabeth would have checked out early if she had the option but there are many people who end their lives in terrible pain, who would otherwise prefer to slip out of this world earlier. We do it for dogs and cats. I just don’t believe that every shred of life is so sacred, when it has become unbearable. If someone at the end of their life finds themselves in agony and wishes to end their misery, it seems to me we should help them.

Meanwhile those awful people at that terrible church that believes gays are evil are planning to protest at Taylor’s funeral because of her support of AIDS-related causes. Taylor was brave to take a stand back when much of Hollywood and most of the continent were running scared from the illness. Taylor showed love and compassion when she said there was nothing to fear but ignorance. It became her mission in the latter part of her life to find a cure. So now this so-called church group that has screamed obsceneties at the families of murdered gays and lesbians, telling them they’re going to hell, plans to arrive en masse in Los Angeles to heckle Taylor’s mourners. Good luck jerks because, gee, it’s not as if there are any homosexuals in Hollywood!