1. Ruth Kassel
    Ruth Kassel June 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm | | Reply

    WOW! Moving; on a subject on everybody’s minds.
    Excellent program, as always.

  2. Sage
    Sage June 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm | | Reply

    The man who created a spectacular young circus talks about death. More importantly, he talks about friendship, and I am so grateful to have heard this.

  3. Peter
    Peter June 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    Fantastic interview! I am so thankful that Rob was willing to share their story. Very powerful. Not easy to listen to but glad I did. This is a conversation that most of us won’t ever have the chance to have/hear. Thanks for bringing Rob’s story to us.

  4. Alberto
    Alberto June 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm | | Reply

    I just listened to your “Last Chapter” episode and it really hit close to home. Last year my mother received the same diagnosis as Bill and I lost her on March 30, 2016. Our relationship was strained and unresolved and my grieving process has been significantly more difficult than I anticipated. I listen to a lot of podcasts and so many of them seem to be about death or dealing with your parents. I’m sure that they have always been this way but it feels more frequent lately. Thank you for the episode. I listened to it and sobbed about my own loss and Rob’s experience. I have had difficulty confronting my grief the last few months but I am trying to take it head on now and your episode encouraged the tears to flow.

    I am a fan of your work and look forward to upcoming episodes. Thank you.


  5. Paul Falcone
    Paul Falcone June 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm | | Reply

    I have a mother who is 101 and in very bad condition in a nursing home who can’t let go though her quality of life is very bad, an older sister who died badly of cancer and other siblings who are well in their way to the end and wish for them, as well as myself for a good death: one of choice and some control, with someone you are close to near by who cares enough to be there. I would want no less for my pets and loved ones to remember the best of who they are as they leave. What more can you ask for?

    1. Linda Huebner
      Linda Huebner April 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm | | Reply

      Ditto. You can’t ask for more than a good friend and a peaceful death. Amazing.

  6. Christopher Leonard
    Christopher Leonard June 10, 2016 at 12:19 am | | Reply

    Thank you Erica.

  7. Ed Kennedy
    Ed Kennedy June 10, 2016 at 7:58 am | | Reply

    Very powerful. At 80 and still active and in good health, this is my idea of the ideal way to go.

  8. Susan Ritz
    Susan Ritz June 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, Erica, Rob and Wake Up to Dying. This is a beautiful story about a man who brought so much light to Montpelier, especially to film fans. He left the way he lived, his own way. Also such a moving portrait of a friendship. Story like a prayer.

  9. Anita
    Anita June 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm | | Reply

    I am a hospice nurse in California and our state has now signed a very similar act. Our staff is deciding what roles we will play within the process. Thank you so much for this chapter Rob. It is good to put the human side into it. The current law sounds restrictive and here it is so expensive . . . at least a step toward self determination. Thanks again for your story, a friend of Laura

  10. Lalise Melillo
    Lalise Melillo June 19, 2016 at 9:11 pm | | Reply

    This remarkable interview, with its deep humanity, thoughtfulness, and even humor, describes and models an approach to life as well as death. Rob’s comments on friendship, sorrow, and mystery prompt reflections on what we value and how we live our lives, as well as how we depart.
    Rob’s voice as he tells this story is clear and singular, and I’m not sure that anyone else could have presented these events with such simplicity and grace. Thank you for making this interview available to listeners.

  11. Alex
    Alex July 2, 2016 at 11:13 pm | | Reply

    Erica, you help to make my world so rich. Your stories are amazing. This one really struck a chord. Last year I helped to care for my Uncle’s body, the day after he died from a heart attack. Rob’s experience with Bill brought back the memories and experience of this transformational time for me, family and friends. Thank you.

  12. Judith O'Keefe
    Judith O'Keefe July 6, 2016 at 11:24 am | | Reply

    Bitter-sweet story. Most thought provoking. Thank you.

  13. Anne Greensfelder
    Anne Greensfelder July 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm | | Reply

    Death with dignity, death with a dear friend holding your hand, death on your own couch in your own living room….hard to imagine a better death. I wanted to know more. Was there suffering? any last minute “oh no, what have I done?!?” or did Bill just lapse into a sleep-like state. What a story. It takes the vague idea of “I’m going out on the ice floe” right down to the reality. And…what would this story have been if Act 39 (Patient Choice at the End of Life) was not an option? Rob’s telling, your editing, and Bill’s credo, which he stuck to to the very end, coalesce into a truly remarkable tale. Thank you.

  14. SQ
    SQ August 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm | | Reply

    I listened to this episode right after listening to, “Our Neighborhood,” and while this may sound strange to some, the transition was beautiful. Kids being kids having fun in graveyards, to adults acting like kids when together even in the last moments of one of their lives. Just was seamless for me. Bill and Rob reminded me of the special and enduring friendship I have with two friends where we actively behave as kids as if we’ve been given a second chance at it without the sadness, anxiety, or fear that sometimes accompanies childhood. Thank you Rob for sharing your story and for having the courage to hold your friend’s hand as he moved on down the road, so to speak. Thank you Erica for the work you do and bearing witness to Vermonter’s stories. I just love your work!

  15. P
    P September 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    Proud to have known and loved both of these remarkable men and to have witnessed their friendship.

  16. Julia Robinson
    Julia Robinson December 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm | | Reply

    Beautiful and moving. Thank you Erica and Rob.

  17. Jonathan Morancy
    Jonathan Morancy April 19, 2017 at 8:53 pm | | Reply

    I’m Bill’s son. I liked this piece as well. I have to say I am glad that he had the chance to be the one in control of how his life ended rather than having to wait until the disease took its time to kill him. And you’re right, it was very much him. He always wanted to call the shots in his life and he managed to do that until the very end.

  18. Kim Jennings
    Kim Jennings April 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm | | Reply

    I was listening to Rumble Strip as I pulled into the parking lot of my local grocery store. I couldn’t turn off the car, this story was so moving. Thank you Bill and Rob, for this lovely narrative of friendship and life. You both modeled, so beautifully, what it means to live.

  19. Patricia Hoffman
    Patricia Hoffman April 20, 2017 at 11:33 pm | | Reply

    Even though this is certainly a story about death, it is also about love and compassion between friends. I would be grateful to have a friend like either of these men.

  20. Scott O
    Scott O April 21, 2017 at 9:09 am | | Reply

    Great radio. Simply great. Thank you.

  21. Islene Runningdeer
    Islene Runningdeer April 22, 2017 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    Many many thanks, Erica and Rob, for sharing this experience. Such a beautiful and meaningful story which can help many people consider the importance of thinking about and embracing the way we choose to die.

  22. Janie
    Janie April 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm | | Reply

    I second what Scott O says (“Great radio. Simply great”).
    . . .stunning job by all participants, radio that makes you feel.
    Gratitude to Bill and Rob for courage, honor and dignity. Beautiful work, Erica.

  23. Jennifer
    Jennifer April 22, 2017 at 8:41 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for sharing the story about friendship and facing the inevitable with dignity and choice.

  24. Ian Wood
    Ian Wood March 8, 2019 at 7:39 pm | | Reply

    An incredibly moving story. It certainly shows the value of having such a law to allow compassionate choice for a person in Bill’s situation.

    Thank you, Rob, for being willing to give this interview in such a caring way. I would say however, that when you travelled to that pharmacy, you were not going to pick up Bill’s ‘death’ but you were going to pick up the means for Bill to avoid horrific futile end of life suffering.

    Shame on the local pharmacies for refusing to supply the medication needed. I see a certain irony here, because as a former pharmacist, now long retired, I used to dispense bottles of 25 capsules of the same drug, when it was frequently prescribed for insomnia. Ian Wood. Australia

  25. Nathan Bedford
    Nathan Bedford March 19, 2019 at 4:39 pm | | Reply

    I have some concerns with this. There are miracles that happen every day. People with certain death prognosis have recovered before. And also who’s to say what could be learned in the last few months of life. Under intense circumstances, pressure and stress we as humans go through a certain process of growth and understanding. It is the same process with which diamonds are made. Are we preventing this very process from happening by ending our own life? This is assisted suicide. I don’t care what people call it. And what is a possible next step in this process, taking our life because of less circumstances such as depression? I know I’m being harsh right now but I think it is very serious when The state and government start making assisted suicide ready available to all.

  26. Nancy
    Nancy June 15, 2021 at 4:14 am | | Reply

    Love to the “wonder and sorrow”
    And sharing…

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