The Long Goodbye

by Amy L. Silva Rigtrup

Alzheimer's Disease. Anyone who has experienced a loved one having this disease knows how overwhelming and heartbreaking it can be. Nancy Reagan perfectly coined the phrase, "The Long Goodbye". With the average life expectancy of ten years from diagnosis, it's a phrase that perfectly captures the entire experience of incrementally grieving the loss of a person's personality, behaviors, memory and function.

On today's episode of The Silva Lining, I was joined by Rose M. Grant, author of "I Left My Memory on a Bus Somewhere" and John Rogers, Alzheimer's Programming Director at Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River, MA. 

Rose's book is the conceptualization of her personal vow to "Turn grief into action"


Synopsis: Jack Grant was a witty, smart, talented art teacher and soccer coach when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 59.  This book chronicles the journey of Jack, his care-giver wife Rose and their two teenagers through the next twelve years as they deal with the daily life of someone with dementia.  Not only do we read of the trials and tribulations of a care-giver through Rose’s writing, we get to witness Jack’s decline through his journals and artwork.  This memoir includes an appendix of coping techniques Rose developed during their journey. 


John Rogers provided great insight from his vast experiences assisting and guiding families through the process of transitioning into a nursing home and facilitating support for family caregivers. When my grandfather made the difficult decision to transition to a nursing home after being the primary caregiver for his beloved wife as long as he possibly could, John gently and expertly made the experience as smooth as possible.


References from today's show: 

To purchase "I Left My Memory on a Bus Somewhere", send an email to:


Books can also be purchased at: 

Partner's Village Store, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA

Swansea Public Library, 69 Main St., Swansea, MA

Annie's Unique Boutique, 1049 County St., Somerset, MA


Rose's Upcoming Events: 

Saturday, Feb. 28 @ 11:00 AM - Landmark Senior Living, 400 Columbia St., Fall River, MA * RSVP Katie Ledworth 508.324.7960

Thursday, March 19, 3:30 - 5:30 - Catholic Memorial Home (in conjunction with the flower show) 2446 Highland Ave., Fall River, MA

Tuesday, April 14 (time TBA) - The Olde White Church, 1113 GAR Highway (Route 6), Swansea, MA


The Southeastern Massachusetts Alzheimer's Partnership - free seminars for caregivers (click on image to enlarge) 






Catholic Memorial Home's Community Support Groups - for caregivers of family members with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias (click on image to enlarge) 





The Silva Lining is thankful for our wonderful sponsor, St. Anthony of Padua Credit Union. We are proud to be sponsored by such an incredible bank, that in an age of conglomerate banks treating people like numbers, maintains a relationship with its members based on trust, friendly service and loyalty. With competitive rates for savings accounts and various loans, St. Anthony of Padua can handle all of your financial needs. Convenient online banking and more information at