Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's

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Overview

"Ten Thousand Sorrows & 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,...

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Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's

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Overview

"Ten Thousand Sorrows & 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 & 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.)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
We have all become too familiar with Alzheimer's disease, but the case of the author's husband, Hob, seems especially tragic. A comparative literature professor, therapist, and Buddhist teacher, he took his greatest pleasure in the life of the mind. And his spirituality and self-reflection made him acutely aware of every step of his decline into dementia. When much of his speech was gone, he still had the ability to recite poetry to explain his loss and confusion—the book's most heartbreaking moments. Hoblitzelle, a writer and teacher, gives him a voice and interprets their experience as a couple as she tells this story of illness and loss. Fashioning this into a self-help book, she explains how they relied on Buddhism, family, and friends to manage. VERDICT This articulate story is an essential read for anyone in this situation. [Originally self-published as The Majesty of Your Loving in 2008.]—Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428274
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 491,528
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 11.68 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet 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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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Most Helpful

    Have read this book twice, and consider it the most helpful description of living with a spouse with dementia and being a full time caregiver. Consider it my Bible at this stage and will read as needed to fortify us in this journey ! Thank you , Olivia !

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    Posted June 7, 2013

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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