Walking Him Home Helping My Husband Die with Dignity
Alan and Joanne marry in midlife and live a happily-ever-after existence until, at sixty-nine, Alan is diagnosed with a rare, fatal, neurodegenerative illness. As he becomes increasingly disabled and dependent on others, and decreasingly able to find joy in life, he decides he wants to end his suffering using Colorado’s Medical Aid in Dying law. Joanne desperately wants Alan to live, but when he asks for her help completing the Medical Aid in Dying application, she can’t say no. She helps him complete the requirements, hoping deep down that his application will be denied . . . only to be stunned when his medical team approves his request and writes him a prescription for the life-ending drugs. Told with affection and spiced with humor, Walking Him Home is Joanne’s tale of coming to terms with her kind, funny husband’s illness; of learning to navigate the intricate passageways of caregiving and the pitfalls of our medical system; and of choosing to help Alan in his quest to die with dignity, even though she wants nothing more than to grow old with him. Tender and heartfelt, this is one woman’s story about loving extravagantly—and being loved in kind.