By Amy Bloom—Random House, 2022
Amy Bloom and Brian Ameche found each other in a later-life romance, and Brian was enveloped into Amy’s family, relishing life as a grandfather to Amy’s grandchildren. They enjoyed an enviable life of travel, fine food and friends. But Ameche had some tell-tale signs of diminished memory and function, and although he had total recall of the past, he was starting to lose the here and now. He asked Amy to research his options for assisted suicide, which were limited, even with “right-to-die” laws, and posed near-impossible hurdles. What Bloom eventually discovered was a nonprofit in Switzerland called Dignitas that offers physician-assisted “accompanied suicide.” Bloom now shares how she obtained admission for Ameche to become a patient and how they carried out his final wishes. The memoir offers many provocative topics for discussion: the US health care and legal systems, the options at the end of life, and the support—or lack thereof—for families when Alzheimer’s is upon them. Sad but not morbid, this is the candid and powerful story that Bloom promised her husband she would write.