This American Life: How to Rest in Peace
originally aired November 2, 2007.
This episode of This American Life re-aired yesterday, providing me a driveway moment (well… a snow-deranged street parking moment). If you missed it then or in 2007, have a listen online to these three stories exploring how the rest — the living left behind — find peace or stay in pieces.
Examining the emotional impact of the right to die, the last story is particularly striking. A growing old but generally healthy woman prepares herself and her family for her suicide because she fears suffering (and making her family suffer) the dementia that consumed her own mother. Her son is left in the horrible position of wanting to comfort his mother and respect her wishes while being sick with shock and grief about her oncoming death.