FOR GREGORY

Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.

PLEASE NOTE:


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com


Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!


• • • • •


THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.


With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.


Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.


Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

RECENT POST

Received this e-mail and it provides many good sources of information.


Hello there,

My in-laws are some pretty amazing people. My father-in-law has gone above and beyond in taking care of his mother, who has late-stage Alzheimer’s. The progression of her disease has taken a toll on the family, but we have done our best to be as supportive as possible. What concerns me now is whether my father-in-law will succumb to the same disease. Should the time come when my father-in-law has Alzheimer’s, my husband and I want to provide him with as many options as we can when it comes to care and support.

Working for a senior-focused organization gives me a special perspective on caring for the elderly. And because every day I witness firsthand what our aging population copes with, I feel that we must do everything in our power to make their lives easier. I can tell that you are likeminded, and I think the following resources would be a great addition to your site. Can I trouble you to share them (maybe here: http://www.youngleadersofafa.org/documents/scholarship_application.pdf?) with your readers?








Thank you for all that you do for seniors.

All the best,
Marie

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today's International DAI Webinar - Text

THE WEBINAR BIBLIOGRAPHY AND LINKS TO THE DOCUMENTARY ARE LOCATED AFTER THIS POST, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THAT, PLEASE SCROLL FURTHER DOWN. 

Here is a copy of the text of the presentation. (The bold face and underline helps me know how to approach the materials as I am delivering it to the audience.) 


DAI Webinar Introduction — 02/22 and 23/2017
I am pleased to be here with you today and want to thank Kate Swaffer for the idea and DAI for making this gathering possible. 
Thank you ALL for joining us. I see some faces out there that I recognize and some that are new to me. For those of you calling in, I cannot see your face but I know it’s a friendly one! 
Some of you have stayed up very late to be with us, some of you have gotten up very early. 
And some of you can FORE-TELL THE FUTURE … because it’s already tomorrow where you live … please let me know how today goes.
Before we view the documentary, I would like to tell you a little about myself, say a very little about the disease called Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and explain how the documentary came to be. 
My comments will take approximately 10 minutes and the documentary runs for 15.
Following the documentary I will attempt to answer any questions you may have.
• • •
The story I am about to share with you is very personal one. I’m comfortable with crying in front of you, however it is very difficult to cry … and talk at the same time.
So if I do get choked up, I will pause, take a few deep breaths, and be right back. Thank you for your understanding. 
• • •
Gregory, my husband of over 41 years, who I met in the late 70’s … and lived with in a committed, same sex relationship before it was fashionable to talk about such things publicly … was diagnosed with DEMENTIA, most likely ALZHEIMER’S, in the 29th year of our relationship. 
We walked the Dementia/Alzheimer’s path together for 12 YEARS … He was NOT a victim of Alzheimer’s … but rather a HERO
He lived as well as possible as the disease progressed and I was able to keep him safe and to support him by helping him to be free of worries, responsibilities, and fears. 
I was able to help him compensate for his diminishing abilities while always trying to make sure that the respect and communication which defined our relationship never faltered.
I made sure that our daily life was full and rich and meaningful. Our life was filled with much laughter as well as many tears, joy as well as sorrow. And above all, it was filled with LOVE
The times were not easy, but we persevered. 
Admittedly, it is easier to talk about our adventure while looking back … when compared to the SOMETIMES HELL it was during the actual experience Dementia/Alzheimer’s path.
Alzheimer’s is not just about failing memory, as some people believe, and as you probably know. 
It also affects the thinking process, bodily functioning, and day to day activities.
For example: Think about the skills and steps necessary in taking a drink of water. While this is automatic for most people, it is NOT automatic for a person with advanced Dementia!
First you have to identify that you are thirsty. Then you have to understand that taking a drink of water will help satisfy that need.
You find a glass and fill it with water, not overfill it, and pick up the glass of being careful not to knock it over. 
You lift it in your hand, but not so strongly that you break it and cut yourself. You lift it at the correct angle so as not to spill the water.
You aim the glass towards your mouth, get the end of t e it to your lips without hurting yourself, since you can’t really see your lips, and allow just enough water to fill your mouth without letting it run down your chin.
You swallow the water as you are lowering the glass back towards the table at the proper angle, so it doesn’t fall over or spill. 
You finish swallowing the water carefully so it does not go down “the wrong pipe” causing you to choke. 
If it does, you need to remember how to cough with enough strength, to be able to get the water out of your lungs. 
If you swallow incorrectly too often … you can get too much water in your lungs … which causes aspiration … which can lead to pneumonia … and eventually could lead to death …
… all this for the want of being thirsty and taking a drink of water.
• • •
This is just ONE example of the breakdown of abilities; cognitive as well as physical, mental, physiological, psychological, social, emotional etc, which occurs with dementia … and the thousands of ways in which the disease expresses itself. Usually different for each person affected!
• • •
Gregory lived at home in our condo in Evanston, Illinois, in the U.S.A. for 10+ of his years with dementia.
The last 18 months brought him to the point of needing such intense care, that short of turning the condo into a hospital ward, with 24/7 support staff, I was no longer able to provide for all of his needs while at home.
We were very fortunate to find and to afford, close to home, the Lieberman Center for Memory Care. He began there on private pay which transitioned into government supported Medicaid. 
now was no longer fully responsible for Gregory 24/7 and was grateful to have a team of people to support his medical, living, and safety needs.
The medical staff included me in the team for all decisions and were always responsive to my inquiries and suggestions as well as requests to be educated about the best health practices available to  us. I always had the final say about Gregory’s care!
Gregory enjoyed most of the activities and “hub-bub” of the place. Being with other people and developing a new sense of community helped him greatly as well. He made friends and he never once asked, “What am I doing here?” 
I continued to provide much of his social/emotional support and spent time with him every day. 
The center provided excellent medical care but even though the ratio of caregiver to resident was higher than that required by the State of Illinois, there is never enough time to really give residents enough one-on-one loving attention.
By now Gregory no longer had use of language and was not able to do much for himself. He always knew who I was and was always happy to see me and we developed new ways of communicating.
For the most part he was happy and content and peaceful in his new life. When problems rarely surfaced at the care center, they were easily taken care of.
• • •
I hired a day-man to be with Gregory from 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM every day. This gave me piece of mind during the time of day when I was not able to be there. 
Manny provided Gregory with companionship, help with meals, made sure the aids knew when Gregory needed to be cleaned up. He ran the DVD, TV, and music for Gregory. He helped with napping, exercising and stretching.
Manny kept him hydrated and plied with  treats: cookies, pretzels, chocolates, and donuts, all the things Gregory loved. Manny helped Gregory get to building funtions, read aloud to him, looked through picture books with him, and spent a lot of time outdoors during good weather.
• • •
Hospice entered the picture during the last year of Gregory’s life. Death was not imminent but when you can prove continuing need and continuing decline, our government will pay for hospice care.
Hospice was so supportive to Gregory. I am grateful to this day for the medical help they provided for him but also for their helping me understand the nature of the Dementia’s trajectory and in the end, the process of dying. 
One day in early October, I received a call from Hospice that informed me that it looked like Gregory was preparing himself to die. 
It was actually a surprise, first because in some ways, having been on the Dementia/Azheimer’s path for so long, I probably believed that Gregory would never die. 
Secondly, he had been relatively healthy and the previous winter had gotten through three major bouts of coughs and colds, most likely Pneumonia, on his own. 
It took him three days to finalize his preparations to die. Before I left on Saturday night, I once again told him to take care of himself, and to not worry about me when he was ready to leave us. 
He was able to open his eyes briefly and give me one last kiss, after having been in a coma for those three days. I considered this a wonderful miracle! 
The next day, he peacefully began his next adventure on the other side of life as we know it.
I will not go into detail about the grief I felt; and trying to come to grips with the finality of death,  the meaning of life, and evaluating our 12 years of living with Dementia … but suffice it to say that Gregory and my love for each-other was so strong that it helped me through. 
Great love creates great grief. They go hand in hand. It does get easier over time but grief rears its emotional head now and then when least expected.
I am able to sit with my emotions, ask them what lessons they have brought me, and slowly I begin to feel better and am able to go on with my day. Gregory will always be with me … true love never ends!
• • •
Whether you are the one who has received the diagnosis of Dementia/Alzheimer’s, or the one who loves the person who has … the way in which dementia progresses and expresses itself over time can be one of the most challenging, painful, frightening, confusing, and frustrating experiences you will ever encounter. 
You will not always be at your best … but if done well … and with love … it can also be a time of renewed love, creativity, and many unexpected gifts. 
As my friend Kate Swaffer says, “the diagnosis of Dementia/Alzheimer’s does not have to be a DEATH SENTENCE, one can choose to live a full, meaningful life and find ways to deal with its progress.”
I have said that Gregory was not a VICTIM of Alzheimer’s but rather a HERO! Recently, in looking back, I have begun to be been able to say that Gregory … AND  I … were not victims of Alzheimer’s … we were BOTH … HEROS!
• • •
The documentary, ALZHEIMER’S: A Love Story, which you are about to see, follows Gregory and me for a week towards the end of his life. 
The documentary was done in March of 2015 by the son of Gregory’s college roommate and best friend. Gregory passed seven months later.
Gabe, the son, created the documentary as part of the requirements for one of his college courses in film making at Chapman University, Dodge School of Media Arts in Orange, California.
The message, which I believe is a beautiful one, takes Gregory and my 41 year love relationship and Gregory’s 12 years living with Alzheimer’s, and distills it into a moving 15 minute documentary. 
I think you will agree as you experience the story … that the same sex couple issue … and the Alzheimer’s issue … almost seem to disappear  … what emerges is a story of any two people who love each other very much … and what happens to that love when any long term, catastrophic disease strikes.
• • •
After the documentary I will try to address any questions you may have. Now, lets watch. There will be a brief period of your computer going black as the documentary begins.
Q and A  Intro After the Documentary
The documentary is a tough act to follow! I would like to again mention that a copy of my bibliography for this webinar is located on my blog: http://mhorvichcares.blogspot.com. You can also check my website www.horvich.com for links to my many projects.
• • •
Just a gentle reminder that this Q&A is based on the Documentary you just watched and on my experiences Gregory and my journey with Dementia/Alzheimer’s.
In fairness to those signed in, it is not the time to tell your story. If you have a question I will try to address it but if you want to tell your story, find my blog, leave a comment, and I would be happy to open a conversation with you. 

I’ll now hand the webinar over to Kate for the Q and A.

Friday, February 17, 2017

DAI Webinar - 2/ 22 & 23 - Michael Horvich - "Alzheimer's: A Love Story"

DAI Webinar – February 22/23, 2017
DEMENTIA/ALZHEIMER’S:
References/Resources

Michael A. Horvich - www.horvich.com - m@horvich.com

YOU CAN RENT ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story at:
(opens in a new window)
and

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ADVANCED LIFE PLANNING AND DIRECTIVES
A Peace of Mind Life Begins with Planning Ahead

The Five Wishes
Worksheets including advance directives and planning
Created by “Aging With Dignity.”

http://www.goodendoflife.com
Good End of Life
Worksheets including 1) The Plan, 2) Advocates, 3) Hospital Readiness, 4) Caregiving guidelines, and 5) Last Words.

http://www.amazon.com
Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples 2016 (Updated often)
By: by Frederick Hertz Attorney (Author), Emily Doskow (Author)
Excellent guidelines for for Gay Couples and what needs to be in place at end of life.

Advance Life Directives and Planning


GENERAL SPIRITUAL
Living a Loving, Centered Life helps Prepare for Anything Which May Occurr

How to Love. Thich Nhat Hanh. 2014.

The Four Agreements. Don Miguel Ruiz. 1997.

Attitudes of Gratitude. M.J. Ryan. 1999.

There’s A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem. Wayne W. Dyer. 2003.

Living Beautifully: With Uncertainty and Change. Pema Chodron. 2013.



DEMENTIA/ALZHEIMER’S
Each person experiences Dementia/Alzheimer’s in their own way but there none-the-less a universality of experience exists.

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss. Nancy L. Mace & Peter V. Rabins. 2012.

Please Take Me Home Before Dark: One Family’s Journey With Alzheimer’s Disease. Billie J. Pate & Mary Pate Yarnell. 2006.

What the Hell Happened to My Brain? Living Beyond Dementia. Kate Swaffer. 2016.


GRIEF
While living with Dementia/Alzheimer’s; there is a day to day loss grief, anticipatory grief, and as in all life eventually the grief in the death of a loved one.

Yoga for Grief and Loss: Poses, Meditation, Devotion, Self-Reflection, Selfless Acts, Ritual. Karla Helbert.

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief. Martha W. Hickman.1994.

BLOG & Two Pamphlets: Navigating GRIEF: A Beginners Guide. Anticipatory Grief: A Guide to Dealing With Impending Loss. Available at: www.whatsyourgrief.com


MICHAEL’S WEB SITE, BLOG’S & POETRY
Michael has been called a “Renaissance Man.” He shares many of his interests and links online.

SITE: Michael A. Horvich
Links to experience more Michael.

http://mhorvichcares.blogspot.com
BLOG: michael a. horvich cares about alzheimer’s
Informed by Michael and his life partner Gregory’s journey with Dementia/Alzheimer’s including anecdotes, observations, practical how to, life lessons, poetry, and more. Now inactive but archives over 1,250 posts which received +/- 110,000 hits since 2010.

http://mhorvich.blogspot.com
BLOG: michael a. horvich writes
Memoirs with observations, life lessons, anecdotes, fiction, creative non-ficion, at times fictin, poetry, dealing with grief, & more.

http://www.amazon.com
Sit With Me a While: The Collected Poetry 2000-2010
Sit With Me A While Longer: The Collected Poetry 2011-2013

YOU CAN RENT ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story at:
and


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Poetry and Alzheimer's

REVIEW: Michael's collection of poetry shares every day life experiences, as well as a catastrophic experience; namely loving and living with someone who has been diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease. His poetry is easy to read, understand, and feel. His style is prose-like and rarely uses formal types of poetry or rhyme. Reading his poetry is like sharing a conversation and a cup of coffee with a good friend!
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/horvich?_requestid=559596



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CURRENT UPDATE - October 12, 2016

It has been along time since I posted anything on this site. Due to several of my presentations it has picked up hits again and is averaging 100-200 hits per day. While the blog is dormant, it contains many useful posts and I am pleased to see it serving again as a reference to so many.

A reminder that when I moved away from the "Alzheimer's BLOG" and back to my "Writer's BLOG," I did so because with Gregory's death, Alzheimer's and supporting him was no longer the biggest part of my life.

If I was to grieve his death and revitalize my individual life in a healthy way, i.e. not holding on to the past, I needed to move on and to move away from the subject of Alzheimer's.

That does not mean that I no longer think about the Alzheimer's, talk about it, support the sharing of information about it, or advocate for those with the disease.

This is an invitation to you to visit my writer's blog which deals with the grieving process and how my life has changed and continued since Gregory's death.

It also will keep you informed on the documentary "ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story" which at this point has been accepted to 52 film festivals across the U.S. and World (2 in London, 1 in UK, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Florence, Madrid, Mexico City, Durbin South Africa.) It has won 27 awards!

Click here to visit the writer's blog (opens in a new window) and don't forget to bookmark it for future reading:
http://mhorvich.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 20, 2016

P.S. Don't forget to visit
for continued posts.


• • •

I will continue to update Film Festival information for

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story

MOST CURRENT as of May 15, 2016


• • •


FILM FESTIVAL UPDATE



Official Selections 
● Laguna Film Festival 
●  Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 
●  Rhode Island International Film Festival 
●  San Pedro International Film Festival 
●  Springfield LGBT Film Festival 
●  Riverside International Film Festival 
●  DocUtah International Documentary Film Festival 
●  Geneva Film Festival 
●  Santa Barbara International Film Festival 
●  Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 
●  DocuWest International Film Festival 
●  Humboldt Film Festival 
●  Cannes American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers Showcase/ Short Film Corner 
●  USA Film Festival 
●  Wild Rose Independant Film Festival 
●  Queer bits AltReels Film Festival 
●  Frameline 40 
● Los Angeles Film Festival

Awards 
●  Student Visionary Award (Geneva Film Festival) 
●  Alternative Spirit Award (RIIFF) 
●  Best of the Fest Award (Laguna Film Festival) 
●  Best Documentary Short (Laguna Film Festival) 
●  Audience Award for Best Documentary Short (Laguna Film Festival) 
●  Best Documentary Short (Chagrin Documentary Film Festival) 
●  Best Documentary (Humboldt Film Festival)
●  People's Choice (Humboldt Film Festival)
●  Honorable Mention (U.S.A. Film Festival)
●  Audience Favorite (Queer Bit Alt Reel Film Festival)

●  Jury Award (Queer Bit Alt Reel Film Festival)








Monday, January 11, 2016

Come Visit

Come visit my writer's blog for more on life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's. Yesterday was Gregory and my 41st anniversary. Read about how it passed. Mark the link and visit often. Looking forward to seeing you at "michael a horvich writes."

http://mhorvich.blogspot.com


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

TBD (Thanks, Browse, and Defect) To Be Determined

Dear "michael a horvich cares about Alzheimer's" Blog Readers,

I continue to get many hits on the old site http://mhorvichcares.blogspot.com and I am grateful for that. Look around, browse back through the close to 1,500 plus posts which have received over 74,000 hits. and experience the journey of Gregory and my Dementia/ Alzheimer's experiences, observations, lessons learned, etc.

... but I have taken a big risk by beginning to post only to my writer's blog (http://mhorvich.blogspot.com) since the posts are now about me, about grieving Gregory's death, about living beyond Dementia/ Alzheimer's. The risk is that I will loose some of my readership and that loss makes me sad.

So please, please, please enjoy and learn and grow (if I may be so bold) from my posts on the Dementia/ Alzheimer's blog but also come on over to my writer's blog for future adventures with Dementia, Grieving, and learning more about me and my musings, poetry, observations, essays, humor, fiction, etc.

The "michael a. horvich writes" blog is not new and currently has over 608 posts with 19,966 hits so there is a lot to read there. P.S. Feel free to comment on what you read!

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Michael

NEW SITE: http://mhorvich.blogspot.com


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Transitions

Dear Readers.

As I make the transition from ending my "Alzheimer's Blog" to re-invigorating my "Writer's Blog", I will double post on both. You can sign up to receive the posts by e-mail or by subscribing. These links are located on the top right side of the page once you are on the writer's blog.

My "mhorvich cares about alzheimer's" blog has been somewhat linear, with some back and forth, but none-the-less following Gregory and my journey since 2010. It shares not only our experiences but also our ups and downs, our lessons, and suggestions that may help you think about life, death, and the activity called living! Even though the journey and the blog are linear, there are benefits from scrolling back through the blog in a non-linear fashion to experience the Journey of Alzheimer's at various twists and turns and rest areas on the path.

My "mhorvich writes" blog is non-linear, more random. I write about what moves me, when it moves me and where it moves me. Sometimes I write about my life experiences, sometimes dreams, often observations and insight into situations, and also just "musings." Some of the writings are in essay form, some memoirs, some poetry. Some are fiction, most are non-fiction. As with a linear blog, you could start at the beginning and work your way through, over time, to the current day post. Or you could dip in here and there to see what you come up with.

Both blogs have "key word descriptions" running along the right side of the page with the number of times that topic has been addressed. If you click on the key word, it will open all of the posts dealing with that descriptor.

Finally, comments are always appreciated. You can sign in with one of the comment accounts or just use "Anonymous." Please add your name or initials if you want me to know who you are. Also, check the "Notify Me"box if you want to receive a reply. I always reply to comments.

Fondly,
Michael


Friday, January 1, 2016

"All Good Things Must Come To An End"

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. Let me begin this lengthy post with its purpose and then please read on: If I am personally progressing and appropriately grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring the Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing no longer is dealing with Alzheimer's but rather life for the living after Alzheimer's. 
• • •

I have been writing the "michael a horvich cares about alzheimer's" blog since June 30, 2005 with 1431 posts and over 74,300 hits. It has been very gratifying to me that friends, family, and virtual acquaintances (some of whom have become on-line friends) have been reading my writing.

I stared the blog for several reasons: 1) Personal processing and growth, 2) Sharing with family and friends, 3) Supporting others dealing with similar situations, and 4) I am a writer ... you know :-)

First and foremost, it was a way for me to process, understand, cope etc with the changes that Gregory was going through due to his Dementia/ Alzheimer's as well as the changes that our long time, intimate relationship was enduring. When I could no longer "talk about things" with him, I turned to my computer to write about my experiences and to process what we were going through.

At the time the blog began, Gregory and I had been in our same sex committed relationship for 35 years. This year, in fact on January 10th, we will be celebrating our 41st anniversary.

I still say "we" but in reality, this year I will be celebrating it for both of us. I know that since you have been following the blog, you know that Gregory died approximately three months ago on October 4th from complications due to Dementia/ Alzheimer's.

The second reason for the blog was to keep family and friends up to date on the "progress" of our life and the changes that were taking place. It was to help them cope with the changes (as well as to help me process.)  It saved me the burden of having to tell and retell the "stories" every time I spoke to someone who asked, "How is Gregory doing?" It helped set them up to understand what they should expect and how to interact with Gregory when we all spent time together.

The third reason is that I wanted to share our experiences with others who might be going through similar ones in the hopes that my lessons could help them cope. It was also to let them know that they were not alone in what with they were dealing. My writing was, on purpose: open, honest, and at times raw ... but also filled with love and hope, and I believe it was positive and up-lifting.

In my research I discovered, in particular, that there was nothing out there to support same sex couples who were going through what I was going through. There was a lot on Alzheimer's and related diseases in general but most of the memoirs  and self-help publications dealt with children helping parents or with older heterosexual couples helping their spouses. It was different for Gregory and I. We were Gay and young. He was diagnosed when he was 55 years old.

The nature of a same sex couple dealing with Dementia/ Alzheimer's presents different hurdles to jump over if only because until recently these couples did not benefit from the legality of their relationship. The decisions and care it took to make their lives as comfortable and "normal" as possible were different than straight couples in dealing with hospitals, medical professionals, insurance companies, care facilities, etc. In some cases it was different from the unfortunate discrimination by family, friends, religious communities, and neighorhoods.

Finally, being a writer and poet, putting my writing out there on the internet, in the form of a blog, was pushing me to keep up with my writing, to establish an audience for my writing, to establish an internet google search presence, and in essence forcing me to take the risk of letting my writing be seen (and judged) by others.

It has been quite an experience and as I said earlier in this post, it has been gratifying to have so many people reading me but I am also amazed at how prolific I have been, averaging close to 250 posts every 365 days!

So finally I come to the point of this post. If I am personally progressing and appropriately grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring the Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing no longer is dealing with Alzheimer's but rather life for the living after Alzheimer's.

My writing has become about the process of letting go, dealing with death, looking at re-owning my future,  being brave enough to wake up each morning and to face life as a widow(er,) by myself, alone, and finally trying to decide how I want to spend the years left to me. I need to work at figuring out what good I want to leave behind, what new adventures I want to forge for myself, and how I want to spend my time.

I may post here now and again, but for the most part I invite you to join me at my writer's blog for "the further adventures of michael a horvich writes." Be sure to visit and to save this link so you can easily get to:
which will open in a new window. The blog will address personal issues as well as present some of my poetry, essays, life experiences and understandings, musings, humor, etc. Hope to see you there.

Happy New Year. May your life be filled with love, health, financial stability, and as much happiness as possible!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year - 2016


What a year this has been. Helping Gregory live as vital a life as possible at the Lieberman Center, even with my emergency appendectomy, even with Gregory's passage ... I am grateful. I am thankful. I am full. 

Life has given me many gifts, Gregory being the biggest, and has taken back, Gregory being the hardest to return. I look forward to a new year in which to learn how to keep Gregory in my heart and in my mind without the pain it now creates.

I look forward to seeing who I become on my own with the years I have left: the good I can do for others, the adventures I can find for myself, sharing my love and my life with friends and family. I look forward to my continuing to grow, experience, process, write, and understand is possible

Wishing you a very Happy 2016. May your life be one of love, health, financial comfort, and when possible happiness.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Sparrow

Republishing this. Received this from my friend Roy whose sister lived with and recently died of Alzheimer's. The message in the video he sent was a poignant one. It is included here with the text. 


The Sparrow

Father: "What is that?"

Son: "A Sparrow"

Father: "What is that?"

Son: "I just told you, It's a a sparrow"

Father: "What is that?"

Son. Agitated: "A sparrow father. S   p   a   r   r   o   w"

Father: "What is that?"

Son with anger: "Why are you doing this?  I told you so many times, it's a sparrow. Don't you get it?"

Father gets up. 


Son: "Where are you going?"

Father signals with his hand "Wait a minute," goes into house, and returns with a book which he hands to the son. It is apparently a diary from the father's earlier days. The son looks at the book.

Dad: "Read ... aloud."

Son: "Today my youngest son who a few days ago turned three was sitting with me at the park when a sparrow sat in front of us. My son asked 21 times what it was and I answered 21 times that it was ... a sparrow. I hugged him every time he asked me the same question. Again and again ... without getting mad ... feeling affection for my little boy."


The son looks thoughtful for a moment, puts his arm around his father, pulls him in with a hug and kisses his head ...



Helped me. Hope it helps you.