LIZ Wilson knows love, and she knows death. She went through both with her husband Craig, who died in a hospice less than a year ago.

The stay-at-home dad, 45, died in December after an aggressive form of cancer spread through his body, robbing him of almost all functions in his final days.

All he had left at the end was pain, thirst and love for his family.

Liz, from Cumbernauld, said: “We didn’t want Craig to go. He loved his life, he loved his daughter, but palliative care isn’t always enough.

“He was only in the hospice for two months, but it was too long. It was far too long. We say you wouldn’t let an animal suffer, what about people? He used to say, ‘Why can’t I go to sleep and die?’. At times he would be begging to go.”

Liz is one of several Scots involved in the Dignity in Dying campaign, which is calling for a law change to allow adults in the last stage of their life to end it.

The campaign wants the Scottish Parliament to make the provision for people with terminal illness and the mental capacity to take the decision, subject to checks by doctors.

The provision sought would not allow anyone to end another person’s life, something campaigners say would act as a safeguard to ensure all assisted deaths are carried out voluntarily.

READ MORE: We owe it to those who suffered to change assisted dying laws

Liz says if the law had already been changed, it would have spared her family, including teenage daughter Jennifer, the trauma of Craig’s death, and some of the most heart-rending conversations the couple ever had.

Now undergoing counselling, she recalls how “gentle giant” and keen gamer Craig would ask her to find a way to end his constant pain, telling her: “You need to figure out a way to do it.”

She said: “He was always so thirsty. I researched it and told him he could stop taking his water. He said, ‘I can’t stop the water.’ I said, ‘I know darling, you’re already suffering enough. Do you know how many times I thought about pinching your nose and putting my hand over your mouth when you’re asleep?’ I’d want somebody to do it to me.

“He said, ‘No, you’ve got Jennifer’.

“People that love each other the way we did should never have been put in a position to have that conversation.

“That’s criminal, because it is a compassion.”

Those conversations took place after doctors ruled out the option of assisted death in Switzerland’s Dignitas clinic.

While Craig wanted to go there, his condition had progressed to the point that travel was not possible.

What he went through, and what the extended family went through, has left Liz with a burning anger. On her involvement with Dignity in Dying, and the Scottish Parliament’s rejection of earlier attempts to change the law, she said: “It’s the fury that’s driving me on.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the people that voted against dignity in dying.

“I want to shout from the rooftops what Craig went through and what we as a family witnessed.

“I relive it when I talk about it now, but I’m giving Craig a voice.

“I was his voice in the last few weeks because he couldn’t communicate – I could tell from his body language if it was pain relief or water he needed.

“I promised I’d be his voice in death.”

The National: Soulmates: Liz and Craig WilsonSoulmates: Liz and Craig Wilson

Craig died in his wife’s arms, and she washed and laid out his body. She said: “There was no-one on this earth loved more than Craig. Everyone loved him, we were soulmates.

“It was like Daddy Day Care at our house – all the kids in the street would come in to play with Jennifer and he’d run about making them all toasties and juice and set them up on their computer games.

“He was a homebody, and he was very private. He felt humiliated by the personal care he had to have, it was so embarrassing to him, even though the nurses were great.

“The hospice was great, but there’s only so much palliative care can do. Their hands were tied.

“We didn’t realise what we were facing. He’d been told there would be pain relief and they’d keep him comfortable, but he was in pain and he wasn’t comfortable. He tried acupuncture, everything. At the end his head turned to the right and he couldn’t move it. After he died I found a bed sore on his ear and that really upset me.

“Life is precious, but so is quality of life. I respect other people’s opinions and I know there are people who don’t want this as a choice, but it is a choice – we’re not saying we want assisted dying for everyone, that we want everyone to do it. It would give people who need it the option.

“If you don’t want to use assisted dying, don’t use it. But don’t deny other people the choice to end their suffering.”