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Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer'sby Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle
Synopses & Reviews
"Ten Thousand Sorrows and Ten Thousand Joys offers a vision of lives well-led, and of love in the thick of crisis and loss. Beyond inspiring."-Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"This beautiful book is unlike any other personal account of living with Alzheimer's disease that I have ever read . . . it offers patients and families practical insights into how they can live their lives more fully amidst the heartbreak of a mind-robbing illness."- Paul Raia, Director of Patient Care and Family Support, Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts Chapter
"A story of courage, love, and growing wisdom in the face of Alzheimer's."-Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma, Founder / Director of Insight Meditation Society
In this profound and courageous memoir, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle describes how her husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis at the age of seventy-two challenged them to live the spiritual teachings they had embraced during the course of their life together. Following a midlife career shift, Harrison Hobliztelle, or Hob as he was called, a former professor of comparative literature at Barnard, Columbia, and Brandeis University, became a family therapist and was ordained a Dharmacharya (senior teacher) by Thich Nhat Hanh. Hob comes to life in these pages as an incredibly funny and brilliant man who never stopped enjoying a good philosophical conversation-even as his mind, quite literally, slipped away from him. And yet when they first heard the diagnosis, Olivia and Hob's initial reaction was to cling desperately to the life they had had. But everything had changed, and they knew that the only answer was to greet this last phase of Hob's life consciously and lovingly.
Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows provides a wise and compassionate vision for maintaining hope and grace in the face of life's greatest challenges.
(This memoir was originally self-published as The Majesty of Your Loving.)
"Both Hoblitzelle and her husband of nearly 40 years, Hob, practiced the Buddhist methods of acceptance and 'letting go' to graceful effect in dealing with Hob's symptoms of Alzheimer's. In this thoughtful narrative, Hoblitzelle explains that at age 72, Hob, a former English professor, was diagnosed with the disease, having experienced odd moments of disconnect and forgetfulness; his condition gradually declined until his death six years later. The author, 14 years his junior, records her compassionate side-by-side journey with her husband, mindful of their remaining time together and resolved to face the disease and its challenges rather than deny it. As a man of words, Hob grew deeply distressed by his aphasia, and the author details the stages of Hob's debilitation--which he accepted with humor and lightness--mostly in terms of his painful lapse into the inarticulable. Much of the barrage of wisdom she sought from Tibetan elders sounds blithe and pat out of context, but Hoblitzelle frankly expresses the growing sense of disconnection between them and the burdens of caretaking, and at the end of each chapter offers helpful suggestions for those dealing with the disease. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Originally published in 2008 by Green Mountain Books as The majesty of your loving."--T.p. verso.
About the Author
Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle's writing and teaching are inspired by more than thirty years of practice in psychology, Buddhist meditation, and the wisdom traditions. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Vermont.
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