"In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss" | Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
Bestselling author Amy Bloom writes with courage and honesty in her poignant, thoughtful book “In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss.” The memoir details her husband Brian’s struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease and his drive to end his life by assisted suicide.
As his disease progresses, Brian tells his wife he doesn’t want to succumb to a slow death, be a burden to her and/or spend years in memory care at a nursing home.
Regardless of how readers might feel about a forced end to life this book is well worth a read—it’s achingly personal, so very human, and filled with information about the diagnosis and progression of Alzheimer’s and all the couple went through trying to honor Brian’s wishes.
Born into a Catholic Italian family, Brian, himself a promising football player, was the son of Ian Ameche, a football star who won the Heisman Trophy in 1954. Amy and Brian married in 2007, and Brian, a handsome, strapping architect, went into a loving relationship eventually blessed with granddaughters, little girls he came to adore.
Brian was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019, when he was in his 60s.
Neither of them realized when they met how measured their time together would be—or that Brian would ask Amy to help him end his life—that she would do the endless research necessary, and be his intermediary with doctors and physiatrists hesitant to even discuss the possibility of assisted suicide.
Amy and Brian discover that though “right to die” is offered in nine states in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, Brian didn’t qualify.
“In Love” thoughtfully presents the day-to-day struggles of living with someone with Alzheimer’s and the steps this couple took to travel to Switzerland where Brian ended his life at Dignitas, in Zurich, a non-profit organization in operation for 22 years.