How do you continue to find God as dementia pulls your loved one into the darkness? Nothing is simple for a person suffering from dementia, and for those they love. When ordinary tasks of communication, such as using a phone, become complex, then difficult, and then impossible, isolation becomes inevitable. Helping becomes excruciating. In these pages philosopher Douglas Groothuis offers a window into his experience of caring for his wife as a rare form of dementia ravages her once-brilliant mind and eliminates her once-stellar verbal acuity. Mixing personal narrative with spiritual insight, he captures moments of lament as well as philosophical and theological reflection. Brief interludes provide poignant pictures of life inside the Groothuis household, and we meet a parade of caregivers, including a very skilled companion dog. Losses for both Doug and Becky come daily, and his questions for God multiply as he navigates the descending darkness. Here is a frank exploration of how one continues to find God in the twilight.
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Foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff Introduction: Walking Through Twilight 1. Rage in a Psych Ward 2. The Year of Learning Things I Did Not Want to Know Interlude: The Mensa Card 3. It Is Eerie 4. Giving Up Interlude: Sunny 5. The Temptation to Hate God 6. Learning to Lament Interlude: My Worried Ear 7. Joy in Lament 8. Moses and Our Sadness Interlude: The Red Book 9. Lamenting in the Classroom 10. Lamenting Online Interlude: At the Museum 11. Technology Free 12. Learning to Lie to My Wife (as Little as Possible) Interlude: Jesus Loves Me 13. Gallows Humor 14. Dogs, Dementia, and Us 15. Miss Becky and a Way of Speaking Interlude: Snack and Scalp 16. Words Fail Us 17. My Escape into Meaning Interlude: Becky as My Student 18. How Is Becky? Interlude: Resting Conclusion: From Twilight into Darkness Acknowledgments Appendix: Lightening the Load Notes