Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2017
  • 9780931191206
  • 162 pages
  • $15.00
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 08/2017
  • 9780931191220
  • 162 pages
  • $5.99
Wife, Just Let Go: Zen, Alzheimer's, and Love
Diana Saltoon, co-author
An extraordinary love story, Wife Just Let Go – are the last words written by Robert Briggs to his wife, just before he passed away from Alzheimer’s. A publisher, literary agent, author, who felt the influence of the Beat era deeply, Robert’s love of literature, poetry and jazz, never faded. Even in his later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Robert was able to share insights into what he called “the power of aging,” and his love of poetry, jazz and Zen. He continued to write, valiantly, of his younger days and of his stint in the army when he and his platoon witnessed an atomic bomb explosion at Frenchman Flat, Nevada, an experience that forever haunted his imagination. What began as a promise to publish his last works, evolved in this duo-memoir, where his wife, Diana, as his long time partner and primary care-person, who leaned on her practices in Zen and the Way of Tea, found herself joining him as a way to introduce his essays and poems. They provided solace and relief as she witnessed each day, the wrenching loss of her husband’s memory and finally his death. Diana brings a perfect balance to his essays with a more meditative commentary as she examines her own path of pain, grief, and illumination as a caregiver. Poignantly written yet unflinchingly honest, the book shares a way to navigate the waters of grief and loss where one may experience the other side of Alzheimer’s – gifts that a patient imparts that continually sustain and inspire loved ones left behind.
Reviews
https://argonautnews.com/connection-through-creativity/

“WIFE, JUST LET GO: ZEN, ALZHEIMER’S, AND LOVE” HOLDS LESSONS FOR US ALL

The main reason Alzheimer’s is such a merciless disease is because it eviscerates memory, thereby disabling not just everyday cognitive function (e.g., pull on your socks before your shoes) but also the intimate connective tissue of relationships. So it is doubly poignant to read in Diana Saltoon's book “Wife, Just Let Go: Zen, Alzheimer’s, and Love” that her late husband, Beat-inspired “Ruined Time” author Robert Briggs, retained not only his love of poetry but also his ability to reflect upon and celebrate aging — even as he “steadily lost the ability to converse.” It is one of several moving elements in her slim memoir recounting how she strived to be a living “memory bank” for the intelligent, dignified man who’d made her feel safe and beloved since their first meeting in San Francisco in 1977.

It’s a very personal book. The “Zen” in its subtitle references the meditation practice they’d shared for decades; scenes of meditation and tea ceremonies depict quiet respites from Alzheimer’s onslaught, and illuminate the quality of their life in artistic communities in California, Oregon and New York as much as Briggs’ poetry readings with his jazz trio. More than anything, Saltoon’s poems and recollections show how the couple relied on creativity to stay connected as the disease eroded Briggs’ mind and body. As many caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s can attest, that was a true achievement. “We never lost the ability to communicate emotionally,” Saltoon writes, adding, “the creative process in the brain, however limited by Alzheimer’s, remains accessible.”

Her heartfelt pieces bracket poems and prose written by Briggs throughout his life; in the three years before his death in 2015, his thoughts became more nonlinear yet retained surprising insights. The surreal “gifts” the disease grants include, to Saltoon, “Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation”; to Briggs, the realization that “blue sky … seems bluer wherever I am.” Poetry and music, especially jazz, continued to stimulate him; this was a man who’d once declared, “Jazz is to music what poetry is to knowing.” When he could no longer write he still gripped a pen and paper like comforting emblems of identity. Toward the end, when clocks were incomprehensible puzzles to him, Saltoon notes one of his enduring lessons to her: “Time is of no consequence … It is just the moment that counts.”

— Bliss Bowen

News
11/13/2018
Best Book Awards

"Wife, Just Let Go: Zen, Alzheimer's, and Love," by Robert Briggs & Diana Saltoon  has been honored as a "Finalist" in the "Self-Help: Relationships" category 

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2017
  • 9780931191206
  • 162 pages
  • $15.00
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 08/2017
  • 9780931191220
  • 162 pages
  • $5.99

Loading...