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On My Own Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 2, 2016
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Praise for Diane Rehm’s
ON MY OWN
"A deeply felt and thoughtfully written account...Rehm writes candidly about her husband’s decision to die when Parkinson’s disease had deprived him of the ability to 'in any way care for himself on his own'...Clear, moving and completely honest…Diane Rehm has again found her voice, and, as she has always done, she speaks passionately and courageously about issues that concern us all."
—Reeve Lindberg, Washington Post
"Rehm walks readers through the most recent year of her life, struggling with living alone and figuring out a new identity."
"About her late husband’s battle with Parkinson’s disease and how she rebuilt her life without him after 54 years of marriage. She writes about the practical challenges, emotional pain and her involvement in the right-to-die movement."
—Leonard Lopate, WNYC
About the Author
DIANE REHM has hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington, D.C.—distributed by NPR—since 1979; the show has a weekly listening audience of two and a half million. Currently, it is broadcast on nearly two hundred stations and Sirius Satellite Radio across the country, as well as internationally by Armed Forces Radio Network. She lives in Washington, D.C.
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Top Customer Reviews
Diane gently and honestly shares herself, her marriage, her parenting and her career with the reader in short, direct chapters. She is brave enough to share her shortcomings (as well as those of her husband, John) with you, yet the love still shines through. Her passion for her career also shows as well as her grief when she approaches retirement.
One aspect I could relate to personally was Diane finding her "passion work" after retirement, her commitment to advocating for being able to die on one's own terms when very ill. After teaching for many years, then retiring and moving from Washington State to Arizona, I found my own "passion work" in advocating for saner gun laws and educating others on how to stop unintended child shootings. This work - and doing it alongside many others of all ages and cultural backgrounds - gives my life meaning and I know that I am helping to save lives. Diane explains in the last few chapters how she can help advocate for laws that support the individual's right to die on their own terms when gravely ill.
I was surprised to learn that Diane did not have a university background, and instead educated herself by listening to others, reading, learning from her brilliant husband and friends and also learned from her own observations and life experiences. A reminder that a degree is not the only way to "get an education" and the importance of being lifelong learners!
Thanks, Diane, for your sometimes brutal, honest and loving book!
The book was worth reading if one took away only one quote, that being, "each and every one of use should have the right to choose. The idea of suffering as being noble does not persuade me that extending life for the sake of someone else's religious beliefs or social philosophy is fair or even reasonable. Let each of us make our own decision".
Diane and John Rehm were married for 54 years, they had two children, a mostly loving marriage. He was a lawyer for the State Department, and Diane is the host of the NPR, 'Diane Rehm Show'. How often I have listened to this NPR program, with such brilliant discussions on every topic imaginable. I have learned a lot listening to this program, and I have learned from Diane Rehm as she tells us her story of her marriage and her husband's death.
John Rehm had Parkinson's Disease, and at a point in the disease he could not care for himself and entered a facility for care. His disease progressed, and there came a time when he was unable to complete any personal task for himself and he had had enough and wanted to die. They lived in Washington, DC, and their doctor could not assist John with his death. What John could and would do was to stop eating, drinking and stopped all his medications. He was not in pain and was kept comfortable, but it took 10 days for him to die. Since that time Diane has become a strong advocate for 'The right to die debate.'
In the first year we hear how Diane coped everyday. Several friends who were widowed and widowers give their input into how they have lived their lives after the death of their spouse. The holidays, the anniversaries, the parties, the social events that one must attend alone. The grieving that does not end, missing John becomes evident as each day passes. But Diane makes plans to move on, not to give up her grief, but to live her new life. This is an uplifting novel even through the sad and difficult times. Resilience and strength and a job to go to everyday certainly helps. Diane has a new purpose as an advocate and spokesperson for Parkinson's Disease and for 'The Right To Die Debate.' This is an honest and emotional account of one woman's life before and after her husband's death.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 02-03-16