Alzheimers – The long goodbye

Book coverBy this time my mother didn’t know what a daughter was, or a mother.

A beautiful graphic novel called Tangles by Sarah Leavitt tells the story of her mum Midge, their family, and how Alzheimers came into their lives. First it just seemed like a bit of forgetfulness. But then Alzheimers began its mean attrition.

Sarah kept notes and drew pictures from the pre-diagnosis days, to her mother’s death, and beyond. The story she tells has the honesty of observation. Some details are hard to take, but are instantly recognisable to anyone who has had a loved one with Alzheimers.

It’s a bloody brave book and it broke my heart open like a fruit.

5 thoughts on “Alzheimers – The long goodbye

  1. purplerulz 26 September 2012 / 11:25 am

    I read the blog, and saw the book was in my library, so am now half way through and it is both bleak and wonderful! I’m fascinated and scared to get to the end…I imagine I will have to read it alone and not at work, for fear of crying, but I’m sure I’ll be the better for it. I’ll let you know when I finish – thanks so much for drawing my attention to it.

    • Donna 27 September 2012 / 11:09 am

      Good on you – it definitely made me bawl in an unseemly fashion!

  2. purplerulz 27 September 2012 / 4:50 pm

    Well, I blubbered over my cereal this morning and finished it… I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you have alzheimers in your family or not. It is not any easy read, but, hey life isn’t easy and these records of ordinary people’s response to the crud life sometimes throws at you help us make sense of it.

  3. lynners 29 September 2012 / 9:04 am

    The long goodbye describes it perfectly. It’s horrible that people can be kept alive with wonderdrugs, but have no quality of life; the family suffers immensely too. There’s nothing sadder than watching a person you love become a stranger. A geriatrician said recently that people now die older, but they die sicker, frailer and madder. Recent publicity about inadequate rest home care brings up huge questions about the future of elderly people in our community that we don’t seem to be capable of addressing.

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