In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss; Amy Bloom
Random House Audio - 2022
(Narrated by the author - good)
(4 hours and 49 min.)
Sometimes even when I think I need an upbeat read, I find myself drawn to darker or sadder stories -- Case in point: In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom.
After meeting in 2005, Amy Bloom and Brian Ameche married in 2007. Both were in previous relationships but, they knew they were a match early in the relationship. Each had friends, family and a job they enjoyed and many shared interests as well. One day Amy began to notice subtle but odd changes in her husband, they were easy to brush off at first but, soon Brian ended up leaving the job he loved and after MRIs and various testing in 2019 was diagnosed with Alzheimers at the age of 65.
For Brian one thing was certain, he was adamant about wanting to die with dignity before his disease took him on a journey of forgetting everything and everyone that had meaning in his life. He asked his wife to research death with dignity options for when the time was right.
Although there are several states in the US that have so called "right to die" laws in place, the criteria is very specific and most states require that the individual's illness be terminal and that death was likely to occur within 6 months. As a couple they decided to look into assisted suicide options in Zurich, Switzerland. Bloom tell readers that Dignitas is the best option for US citizens who are not terminally ill if they feel the need to end their lives. After going through the application process, a required autobiography, interviews, medical reports and much more, Brian eventually meets the requirements and in January 2020 with his wife Amy by his side he ended his life.
This memoir was a bit of an eye-opener and I'm glad I had the opportunity to listen to it. It is not a long book and it is written in a way that is not all doom and gloom. The author has a way of infusing her wit and humor at appropriate times as she shares the story of their years together. Many readers may shy a way from a topic such as this but, I do recommend this one.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
It actually sounds like a good one and it's a topic everyone should know about.ReplyDelete
I agree Brian. For example, I knew there were some states in the US making this available but, I didn't realize that the individual had to be terminal and is to have been determined to live less that 6 months.Delete
Kudos to you for reading it. And to Bloom for sharing her experience with the world.ReplyDelete
I love when people share such personal stories so that others can be better informed.Delete
This is one I want I want to read. I think I'd prefer a print edition in order to highlight/mark meaningful passages. Here in Oregon, we have the Death With Dignity law, but it is not euthanasia. Like you mentioned, the patient has to be terminal (within 6 months of death, I believe). Have you read When My Time Comes by Diane Rehm? I reviewed it here.ReplyDelete
Hi Les, I recommend the print vs the audio. Bloom's narration was good but, not great and yes, this is a book one would want to reference in the future. Off to check out your review of When My Time Comes.Delete
I agree, this is a book I'd prefer in print. Watching my father try to hide his deterioration was heartbreaking. The Death with Dignity law does not help when an AD patient can live for decades before the body gives up. A conundrum for so many people who have to deal with the disease or who must watch a loved one disappear.Delete
Interesting, I don't think I've seen another book like this before.ReplyDelete
It's a powerful and important story; quite brave of the author to share.Delete
Wow...what a hard thing to have to go through. For both of them. I hope I never have to go through that with a loved one.ReplyDelete
I know Alzheimers is a terrible thing, my neighbor took her own life a few years after she was diagnosed before she got too bad.Delete
What a difficult thing to go through! It does sound like an eye-opening read.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's a good book for everyone to be informed even though it is not an easy topic.Delete
Yeah I just started this one in print. My Mom in her 80s has some of these issues ... but for a guy to get it so early at 65 is very tragic & sad.ReplyDelete
It is quite sad to see dementia/Alzheimer's strike a loved one at any age but, especially when it is early-onset. Sorry about your mom.Delete
This is such an important topic. I know that CA has efforts going on to allow death with dignity. I didn't realize that Zurich was an option and that there is a rigorous process to go through.ReplyDelete
It is so important to have an option like this IMO. Our state does as well Helen but, it seems in the US you must be terminal within 6 months in states that allow it.Delete