Our Lingering Farewell
is penned by Dr. Allan Carswell in honour of his wife, Helen Carswell; her charming spirit, extraordinary achievements and contributions, and most of all her courageous journey with Alzheimer's disease since the late 1990s. Dr. Carswell imparts the many poignant experiences he and Helen have shared, their deep love for each other and their family, their positive approach to each day and challenge, and the lessons learned he hopes will help others on a similar path. He also speaks openly about the heavy waves of sadness that weave their way through the quiet moments of today.
Helen is in late-stage Alzheimer's disease. The contrast of the vivacious and creative person that Allan shared life with for so many years with the steady reduction of her capabilities and no expectation of any improvement; it is heavy. Helen has little awareness of her surroundings and essentially no response to any external stimuli except for her active assistance when Allan is feeding her. Still, he values that they remain living at home together and he is able to support and enjoy Helen's company, knowing firsthand that she is in good overall health with no signs of pain or distress. Their precious and lingering farewell continues.
Proceeds of this publication will go to support the Toronto Memory Program and the Alzheimer Societies of Toronto and York Region.