Louise Cypress Writes a Young Adult Novel With an Alzheimer’s Theme, The Gift of Goodbye

About Louise Cypress The Gift of Goodbye

By Louise Cypress

This is a picture taken in 2014 of my mom, grandma, daughter and me. It was the last “good” day my grandma had before she moved from assisted living to a memory care unit for her Alzheimer’s disease. She passed away in 2018, a few months after The Gift of Goodbye released.

In the United States one out of every ten adults over the age of sixty five has Alzheimer’s disease. Every sixty six seconds a new person is diagnosed. One third of Americans over the age of 85 have some form of dementia.

Watching a loved one progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease is difficult and talking about it is even harder. That’s why I wrote The Gift of Goodbye. It’s a story for kids, about kids, not about Alzheimer’s disease. A book that was primarily focused on dementia would have been too sad for children to read. But I know that there are lots of kids in America right now who are witnessing Alzheimer’s change their grandma or grandpa.

If The Gift of Goodbye helps one reader feel less alone, then my effort was worth it. This is a happy book, and every child who has read it has enjoyed the story, including my daughter.

Writing The Gift of Goodbye was a change of pace for me, because I’m most known for being a Young Adult author of paranormal fiction—think vampires and wolf-shifters, that sort of thing. But even in those books, my family’s history with Alzheimer’s bleeds through. In Shifter’s Wish, one of the characters is a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease named Eva Byrd. Since she is a bird shifter, Eva spends her last few years living as a swan in the family duck pond because she can’t remember how to shift back into her human self.

Someday there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I believe that with all my heart. Until then we must keep hope, fight for a cure, and remember that love lives forever even when memories fade.

About Louise Cypress
Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire or a mermaid, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. She can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise is from San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal. Do you want to know a secret? Her real name is Jennifer Bardsley and she is a newspaper columnist for The Everett Herald.


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