tv Book Discussion on On My Own CSPAN May 30, 2016 11:00pm-11:51pm EDT
same fate i want to adolf hitler to be in hell. you don't want the worst of the worst were the best of the best rewarded. >> host: day you listen to rush limbaugh?>> guest: i listeo >> we're on at the same time so it's a little difficult and i do listen. yes. i listed in the same way so that fascinates me to see
these other issues that i do. >> caller: base for being of voice for conservatives. i have been intrigued to of that doctrine in state to bed jewish approach of natural blonds. >> guest: that is a tough question because i don't hate you can add to that extent from the natural state of the world it doesn't provide a moral guide its with the good
>> immediately i am so honored to be here i am a book reviewer and i have the panel now 130 about the book that changed my life my recent in college that is why get the privilege to be here today and i love it our panelists does not need an introduction however the host of her show on npr and we are delighted to have her here to speak about her new book on my own and i have a lot of questions i will make sure i leave time for yours. >> my pleasure. [applause]
>> diane is a national treasure and her new book is very heartfelt about coming to terms with what life is like after a beloved spouse dies in the marriage ends and life continues:and i will speak today and today but we'll also talk or her career is and radio but first come on my own is about being on your own but also a solitary life alone that has a different 10 or so tell us about shaping the essays.
>> first of all, faiths to all of you so much it is a great privilege to be back here at the book festival where we spoke in 2002 bought a book about our marriage. this is primarily a love story. a love story of mine toward my late husband and the difficulty that one has when they make that commitment at the time of marriage of in sickness and in health and vowing to support another
life another person with whom you have lived as it turns out with john, 63 years and married 54 he had parkinson's disease and as it became more and more apparent that his parkinson's was taking in downhill he decided to end his life. he did it in a a zero way that still makes me so sad because there is no law in maryland which allows doctors to assist
individuals who have been deemed within six months of death as he was there is no that allows doctors to help those patients so he chose to stop drinking water or food or medication i'm sure many of you know, you could forgive me if i would stand up and walk? >> i think we could forgive you. [applause] i feel so much more comfortable this way it may be a little difficult but i hear a little echo if we can turn that down that would be great. i am sure most of you know, you can go without food for days and upon days but not
without water and within about 10 days to weeks the organs begin to break down and he chose to end his life that way and i had chosen to write a book that i began writing on the night he was dying of was trying to sleep on two chairs by his bed with my little dog on my stomach and that did not work so i just got up at 2:00 in the morning they had my pad with me and i began writing and i cannot tell
you that there was any plan in mind at that time to continue to write and some how to create a book of essays or thoughts but all i know is that night i needed to put on paper what i was feeling and seeing and thinking and so it began. >> there are so many ways to move into that night but one of the things that struck me reading your book and i have read it twice, lost teaches us it has meaning in this a great teacher so perhaps
that night we begin to write yabber letter summer vacations what you learned? >> i think the most important learning was that i had to adjust to being alone. something that i as a woman who went from my parents' home to my first brief marriage to marriage to john at 54 years i really never have experienced in the etf of being alone with something a never even thought about and tell john had to move it to the assisted living and what was
so curious as he loved being alone he loved the quiet in the silence he would say to me that a room without words and quiet was like a drink of water. 4:00 p.m. at 1.he would say it many times he bled rather have lunch with "the new yorker" magazine and any human. [laughter] that included me. [laughter] but i knew that about him and the teaching of the right teams and the lessons from this book came from
recognizing how i could have been a different person and if i simply recognized his need to be alone as the need rather they and rejection of me that is a powerful statement. >> and you were quite honest about how difficult your marriage was due to this misunderstanding and also as you say he admitted very late in his illness he felt he was emotionally abusive to you and that is tough not only to hear also to share
wealth to share more why a very difficult marriage can be rich and loving? >> the reason i have wrote that and people have asked me why would you include such a painful ignition? diane i apologize because i was deliberately emotionally abusive toward you why would i? and i think first it came out of my heart it was something i had to include the also to demonstrate how a marriage of such mixed emotions and experiences can
truly be a successful marriage there are no perfect marriages that i know of. they may be out there may be i am not counting your marriage may be regard your marriage as absolutely perfect but ours was not but from all perspectives it was a successful marriage a remember walking into the pediatrician's office with our son who was eight or nine and the dentists said tell me your secret what is it about you to that makes you so compatible and makes
your marriage so good? his marriage was breaking up and he was wondering about hours. i think that was part of the reason to say not only to myself but it was like i knew he had had that feeling and he had been specifically and deliberately in the emotionally abusive but to hear it, from his mouth was something else. >> that is such an amazing statement because one of the
reasons you say in the book he become such an advocate is because you were denied that final ability to be with john at the last because of the process and he could not have the agency in dying so this isn't just being told that to take that in but also to share every part of life. >> and at the last moment of life and win his caregiver arrived i said i'm going to go home and i will be right
back after i got home i got a call from the caregiver saying please come quickly he is going and to buy the time i got there it was 20 minutes too late. and having spent the night there wanting to hold his hand at the last became very frustrating to me it is just extremely hard to bear but had he have the right to die he would have had medication that he would have the option to take or not and would have informed me when he was going to take it and
i could have been there with him but the maryland state legislature has rejected the bill that has now been introduced to or three times so far it has not passed there are five states that do have assistance in dying starting with the oregon and most recently with california i think that legislation will move throughout the country and people eventually will have that right to choose and by that right to so here is
what i mean by the right to choose i believe in god. i am a strong believer in god and there are those among us who believe it is only god's timing that matters and if that is your belief i strongly support it. you should be able to sam will be on this planet and tell a guy decides it is time for me to go in for example, you find yourself very ill and you wish for
your doctor to not only to continue to try every means possible to keep you alive and then to offer positive care to keep you comfortable i totally support that. but if on the other hand, you find yourself as he did unable to feed himself himself, walked from the bed to the bathroom or unable to care for himself in any way and you wish to have that right to choose i totally support that as well it is the right to choose.
[applause] >> preach. [laughter] usa probably it will take another 10 or 20 years for this to take cold and what is interesting is or accidental advocacy because you believed in it before john view did not become a public features -- a public figure on your own it happened because of an event and some talks but now the you have retired and your show is no longer on give me
a moment. [laughter] you are now working full time on this cause several give his sometime to speak about the public side. >> "the washington post" labeled me the new and strong advocate for the right to die a after i had attended three dinners about compassionate choices they did these dinners and they felt very strongly that my presence would attract large donors and each of those was 20% each paid $2,500 to
attend so that those genders i did nothing but speak of john and to speak of how he died and my belief he should have had to race so npr and my own station felt that i attend a those tenders i had crossed a line of journalistic ethical behavior with which i did not agree i have already attended to dinners and we all came together and
altogether we were committed to a third dinner i would attend that and then no more and i agreed to that with regret and i said i am very sad that it has come to this because i a jew not feel that in an advocacy position but i was there talking about my own husband and i do want to correct one word i am i'm retiring. [laughter] [applause] >> i am simply stepping away from the microphone after 37
years doing two hours a day and 10 hours a week of that diane rehm show i am 79 years old i will be 80 in september and it is time for someone else to have that glorious real-estate. [applause] so we're in the process looking very hard very carefully about what comes next and the management has stayed in touch with so many people and so many stations and npr is involved in something really good will
come into those two hours. i really believe that. i will miss being with all of you every day no question but i am going non to do whether things i have appeared in a play about alzheimer's we have done that in washington and los angeles and san diego and boston and we plan to continue to take better around the country i am also going to be speaking about wherever i amount on the right to choose i want to be very clear about bats as
opposed to saying that you and i and everyone else should have the right to die i think you should have the right to choose and i hope that is what it comes to. >> no retirement however in the but you let us know that saturday is your date to sleep in so what will that looks like for you later? i imagine that will be a luxury. >> they will be marvelous. [laughter] getting up to 5:00 in the morning for the last 37 years or more were because i supervised my now 56 gerald
sons piano practice every morning so i would get up with him and supervise that so i got that have it early on and there were times i was freelancing for the associated press i would have to get that 4:00 in the morning to be downtown i don't know. [laughter] i'm just going to hope that nazis stays well now 13 year old long hair chihuahua he is of black and he is my
beloved i talk with him and i talked about john every single day every day i talk with john and he talks back with me which is wonderful the saddest part came to days after his memorial service when i got a telephone call telling me i would be awarded the presidential medal for humanity is. i thought why couldn't he have lived to see this? . .
he saw ahead for me in ways that i cannot see for myself. now, contrast that with what we talked about earlier, the tension, the difficulties in marriage. it is so complicated. marriage is the hardest job in the world next to parenthood. [laughter] >> very true. i have a couple of smaller questions. since you just spoke about john again, i'm one of the things i wanted to mention was that you talk at the end of the book about missing him more, and so often in our society we think grief has a time, but this isn't actually the morning that you're talking about, it's missing him more. i think you test on this a bit
but i'd like to have you expand. >> we went to a friend's seminary with malcolm brown, of the new york times. malcolm won a pulitzer for his coverage of vietnam along with a number of other reporters. malcolm married a woman from vietnam and malcolm, unfortunately came down with parkinson's at about the same time john did. he died two years before john. his wife, leigh lou, sent me a note saying i miss him more even now. i miss him more.
when i was struck by that comments because here we are almost at the second anniversary of john stuff and i thought to myself, missing him even more now. i think in the immediate aftermath of the death of one as i was i was so busy readjusting my life and so busy with so many things that i threw myself into work. as they say in the book, i ran as hard as i could from grief. just trying to keep busy. so i think now that we are where we are in the timeline i really
do believe i am allowing myself to feel the grief and his absence even more now. >> that of course brings you to be in on your own. now that you are on-year-old, couple of, couple of questions, again i asked you about your saturdays but before we speak to the audience i want to ask you because you have been such an advocate for books, authors and readings about what you are reading now and i love the fact that you are reading to john and he asked for a haiku, but now what are you reading for pleasure, has that time come yet or will it be later this year when you have stepped away from the mic? >> i can find my nighttime reading to fiction, i don't read
anything that is event related, or news related at night. i am trying to calm down. i am trying to get away from the news of the world which is catastrophic right now. in so many waves. as we think about the news politically as we think about what is going on internationally, as we think about all of the evil that is present right now in the world. i am reading elizabeth strauss latest novel because that is going to be our readers review on the 25th of april. >> my name is lucy barton, a terrific book.
>> it is. it is a dark book, this latest one is a dark a dark book that she writes really very compellingly, so fiction. >> so, i want to now open up to questions. i want to give a few extra minutes because i know you will have some. again, if you'll come to the mic in the center you can form a line behind it. i will will try to make sure things go smoothly. >> to not be bashful. >> do not be bashful at all. open mic night with diane rain, or afternoon. >> lead the way. >> i do not have a question, i have a comment.
we just love you being in our lives. we will miss you, but we will wish you just the most wonderful life after your show. >> thank you so, so much. that. that is very kind of you [applause]. >> i read a book recently by doctor joyce brothers called quote "widow". i really don't have a question for you but i wanted to recommend it to come it's an older book. it shows what you go through with loss. >> i think that is a great recommendation, thank you very much. the one thing i do strongly believe is that each one of us who becomes a widow or a widower experiences life individually it
really does depend, for example if you're blessed enough to be working to have friends, to have relatives nearby to support you, all of it is so individual. so i think there are no easy formulas and that is why i did not intend to write one. thank thank you though for that recommendation. >> thank you for your remarks. a a couple of comments. first well, for so many times that somebody has waited by the bedside of someone and left for a few minutes only for them to die. it does appear to me that it is often a choice that that person makes. so.
>> exactly the nurse said that to me when i got back and i was so devastated not to have been there. >> in may have been a choice. >> my other comment is about the feeling the absence. i would agree with you that you run and you run and those of us would like to run do so even harder. i think though because marriage is complicated, after a while it simplifies in your mind and you perhaps remember some of the less complicated things. >> you are so right. you are so, so right. i have thought myself now seen john as a young man, totally in love, totally involved.
he was a very, very busy professional. he was an attorney at the state department and then went to the white house. so that his life was just very professionally focus. but i see him as so strong. thank you. >> hello, it is an honor. i am just at the beginning of a journey as a wife, as a mother, as a professional. >> congratulations, good. >> you nailed it when you set all those things are just the hardest. something you said really struck me was that debt john trump for you, he had dreams for you and i would imagine that you had dreams for him. i wonder how having those dreams and continuing to evolve those dreams help to get through some of those very complicated,
trying times as a mom, as a wife, as wife, as a professional. >> oh boy. that is a great question. frankly, therapy. [laughter] [applause]. 25 years of therapy. >> we are on it. [laughter] >> good for you. thank you. >> hello. i've enjoyed this need to for many years. i appreciate the way you interview and listen to everyone who is your guest. but sometimes i find myself some of the more mundane topics like water levels in 2900, whatever, i kind of lose interest and i wonder, do you ever encounter that and try to get sleepy with
strack that what you're asking, what there is aimed to you? [laughter] >> sure. that happens. , i'm human like you, there are some things, some topics topics in which i am far more interested than others. but, i will tell you as far as water levels and what is happening to our shorelines and the whole question of how the environment is changing, that does not bore me one little bit. but there are other topics, can't think of any and i wouldn't want to think of any right now, but thank you for the question. >> high diane. thank you for your book, i, i look for to reading it.
i had a question about how the medical world or the hospital reacted to your husband's choice ? i ask it in the context of having been a caregiver for my own parents who had advance directives and living wills and nor extraordinary measures. i just found at every turn until we got to hospice that the medical industry, doctors, they just want to keep trying everything. so i was just wondering if john had any pushback? >> that is such a good question, and leads me to say to everybody here, medical directives are not going to do it for you. they're not going to do it for you. you must be in conversation with your spouse, your children, your friends, your families.
i will tell you about an organization that has just developed in st. louis. it is called cupcakes and death. people in neighborhoods are coming together so that everyone in the neighborhood they have cupcakes, there cake, they they have suites, everyone in the neighborhood knows knows what you want. if you do not want an ambulance it to be called, if you do not want emt people rushing in and inserting it to down your
throat, this is what we need to do. the papers are not going to do it for you. and forgive me if i offend anyone by saying this, but but if you are going to a roman catholic hospital and of course they have very, very strong perspectives on keeping people alive. that will not allow you the choice you wish to make. so when john and i, with our son in the room, his dr. in the room, and her daughter jenny, who is herself a physician, she was was on the phone from boston, john said i am ready to
die. and he turned to the dr. and said, can can you help me. and the dr. said, morally, after athlete we ethically and legally i cannot help you. the only thing you can do for yourself is to stop eating, drinking, and taking any medications. and the next day john began that journey. so, you must make your wishes known. i have said publicly and in the book that should i suffer a heart attack or stroke in my own apartment i will not call 911. i do not wish to end up in the hospital intubated and with many
wires keeping me alive. my dear friend roger mudd's wife, ej mod died that way and her last word when the ambulance arrived for her, her last words that roger mudd heard were i don't want to do this. and to this day, he does not know whether she meant i don't want to go to the hospital or, i don't want to die. so, think about how you can make your wishes known. thank you. >> so, the bill that went through or tried to was killed. the right right to die bill or the right to choose bill, he
talked here about the broader perspective but the lgbt movement and that will take a decade or two but, what specifically marilyn can people do to try to get something that is not passed several times through finally? >> but that's what had to happen in california. that's what had to happen, i don't know about montana and how long that took. we have to simply keep pushing. jamie in maryland introduced it the first time someone else did it the second time and it went down. i have the feeling, i may be totally wrong, but like gay marriage, i have the feeling that california could be the turning point. that you may have a great many states following suit more
quickly now that california has passed its law. as a citizen, you write letters, you write e-mails to-year-old legislator, that's, that's all you can do. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hello diane. i work as a professional gardener and so i have the good fortune of being able to listen to your program every day on my mp3 player. >> thank you. >> sometimes i get the information that you might be a gardener, so i'm wondering are you a gardener? we doing some of that when you leave the program? >> thank you for that lovely question. we have a house for 40 years in maryland and we created the most beautiful garden. i was out there every single day in the spring and summer.
just to give you a sense of how beautiful it was, our daughter was married in that garden on june 16, 1992. it turned out to be the hottest june 10 in 75 years and there is one photograph that was so wonderful of all the men's jackets on the fence. it was just great. but yes, yes, i love gardening, but living now in a condo my gardening is restricted to my balcony. so just a few potted plants. >> we have time for one more question. >> hello. he had a feeling, but he was right.