“I don’t know what my booze bill was for that time, but I’m sure it was big. I had good reason, though: I had to kill my parents. They asked me to. Actually, they asked me to help them with their suicides, and I did.” – John West
Assisted Suicide is the common term for controversial actions by which an individual helps another person die upon their wanting to do. This is a concept almost always reserved for people who are terminally ill. In the United States, only three States “allow” assisted suicide: Oregon, Washington and Montana. Even then, there is a mountain of red tape and legalities that must first be dealt with, rendering the entire process a living nightmare.
When John’s ailing father asks his son to aide him with his suicide, John does not hesitate. His father, a prominent doctor, understood what would happen to him as the cancer progressed, and John was sure of his father’s mental faculties at the time of the request. Together, they schemed and plotted the last goodbye. In his book, The Last Goodnights, John details the days leading up to the final moments, the aftermath, and the inevitable consequences, first for his father and then again for his mother.
In journal form, John takes the readers through the experience, describing a unique and personal perspective in the lives of all involved, offering a different opinion of death with dignity, driving home the point that each situation is intimate, and should never involve government intrusion in the first place. Having to dance around the legalities of assisted suicide during such a grievous time is like adding insult to injury. The government should not have any rights over our bodies and the choices and decisions we make with them at any time during our lives.
[amazonify]158243557X[/amazonify]Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Death is as natural as life, and should be sweet and graceful”. I agree. We should ultimately all have the choice to leave this earth when and how we see fit. Unfortunately, at this time, most of us do not.
Unfortunately, many do not see it this way and John’s book brings the controversial subject to the forefront in his memoir. Definitely a conversation piece, this book is sure to make you think about your own d-day and the choices you can or can’t make. Simple, tender, honest, brutally honest, The Last Goodnights will linger in the back of your mind long after you’ve finished reading it.
Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & volunteer for Missie’s Closet, an emergency food & necessities pantry for the low-income in her area.
This book was provided free of any obligation by John West. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.