On My Own

On My Own Review

In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long drawn-out death (from Parkinson’s) of her husband of fifty-four years, and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him.

With John gone, Diane was indeed “on her own,” coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world—struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past. Her focus is on her own roller-coaster experiences, but she has also solicited the moving stories of such recently widowed friends as Roger Mudd and Susan Stamberg, which work to expose the reader to a remarkable range of reactions to the death of a spouse.

John’s unnecessarily extended death—he begged to be helped to die—culminated in his taking matters into his own hands, simply refusing to take water, food, and medication. His heroic actions spurred Diane into becoming a kind of poster person for the “right to die” movement that is all too slowly taking shape in our country. With the brave determination that has characterized her whole life, she is finding a meaningful new way to contribute to the world.

Her book—as practical as it is inspiring—will be a help and a comfort to the recently bereaved, and a beacon of hope about the possibilities that remain to us as we deal with our own approaching mortality.

Title:On My Own

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Steven Yenzer

    I really wanted to like this book, as I'm a huge fan of Diane Rehm and listen to her show every week. However, On My Own is so often repetitive and dull that I just didn't enjoy reading it. Rehm's hon...

  • Jaclyn Day

    I’ve listened to Diane Rehm for a decade. Since I moved to the DC area, she's been a constant. Her voice guided me home on many a late night drive and kept me company during long work hours. And, de...

  • Elizabeth Theiss

    Diane Rehm's latest book tells the story of her struggle to live after the death of her husband who fought a lengthy fight against Parkinson's disease. Rehm is the host of NPR's morning program, The D...

  • Ellen

    It's a wonder that I was drawn to take this book home from my local library's "new books" section. It's true that I was looking for a nonfiction work and that I favor memoirs, but the cover photo of D...

  • Rebecca

    I don't know how Rehm's memoir even made it to my doorstep, but once there I welcomed it in. I had no idea what to expect. I knew little of her personal life, having only heard her on her radio show. ...

  • K2 -----

    I read this book in one sitting, the highest compliment or perhaps a commentary on the book's length. I have been an admirer of Ms Rehm's for many years and her outspoken support of DWD made me love h...

  • Vikki

    I really enjoyed reading this little gem by Diane Rehm. It was chalked full of good advice for retirement, marriage, and end of life decisions. Diane's husband lived with Parkinson disease for years. ...

  • Sue

    I found this a very peaceful book to read. I thought Ms. Rehm approached the death of her husband and her life without him very realistically and without self-pity. The book is a tribute to him but sh...

  • Susanne Gulde

    I received this book from Edelweiss as a digital review copy. This is a very honest, vulnerable book that looks at not only the death of Ms. Rehm's husband and the year following it, but her thoughts ...

  • Graeme Roberts

    I have the greatest affection and respect for Diane Rehm. Her memories of her marriage, the decline and death of her husband, John Rehm, from Parkinson's Disease, and her grieving, are candid and brav...