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Extended Audio Sample On My Own, by Diane Rehm Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Diane Rehm Narrator: Diane Rehm Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long drawn-out death of her husband of fifty-four years from Parkinson’s 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 listener 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 slowly taking shape in the United States. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this candid and moving memoir…Rehm contemplates the sobering prospects of being truly “on her own” for the first time and reveals the complicated and highly personal process of dealing with profound loss.‘


  • “The seasoned broadcaster explores the many changes and challenges that come when a spouse dies; she shares feelings of guilt, loneliness, fear, and worry as well as acknowledging her strengths and new-found independence.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rehm doesn’t gloss over the emotional complexities and difficulties of a long-term marriage, nor does she shy away from making her opinions about the inconsistencies in right-to-die legislation known (despite the apparent objections of her employers). Her views on the controversial topic, delivered with her hard-earned observations about its ramifications, distinguish this account from other memoirs of widowhood.”

    Library Journal

  • “The author is often overcome by grief, not only for John, but ‘for our youth, for our love, for our happiness.’ Widowhood is not the only identity change that Rehm has faced. She wonders who she will be once she retires…The prose reads like journal entries or letters to readers…[and] perspectives on old age are brave and uplifting.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick of February 2016
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