Shelly Calcagno’s memoir The Longest Goodbye, is a journey through Alzheimer’s and love

Shelly Calcagno

Ontario, Canada

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would publish a book about my mom’s journey through Alzheimer’s, I wouldn’t have believed you. My writing dreams were very different then, and not centred around sharing about the most painful season of my life. Halfway through our Alzheimer’s journey I started to blog and share snippets of what I was going through, and the responses I received helped me keep going. I realized that I wasn’t alone and gained hope from that and wondered if my story was one that could possibly help others. So, I kept on writing. It was both healing therapy for me, and a way to collect and gather the story of our family. I learned that in the middle of our pain we still had so much to be thankful for, and I was determined to look for joy in what often felt like a helpless journey. 

I hope that my book encourages families and loved ones facing the giant mountain of an Alzheimer’s diagnose, wondering how they will ever have the strength to make the journey ahead. In my book, I write about the significance of moments, and how I learned how to grab onto all the little gifts that were there, despite the pain. I took that big mountain, and broke it down into those moments, and that’s how I got through. I never stopped looking for joy, and it was always there to be found – even in the hardest of days. I decided early on that the love I had always received from my mom; would be the love I gave back to her no matter the circumstances. I made it my goal and purpose to keep celebrating her and doing the things she loved until the very end. I kept collecting moments for as long as I could. I gathered them up, and now I can look back with no regrets. My mother passed right before my book was released, I deeply grieve all that I have lost, but I also am grateful for all I had, and that will stay with me forever. If my story can help others walking that shaky road between love and grief, while helping them hold on in the middle – then I’ve honoured my mother’s life well and our journey has had purpose. 

There is always hope in The Longest Goodbye.

Bio – 

Shelly Calcagno is a writer, producer, and content creator. She is the host of A Space for Grace Podcast, and the author of Tini’s Tangles. She has written and produced several animated series for children and specializes in curriculum development. She co-hosted from 2013-2016 on 100 Huntley Street – Canada’s longest running daytime talk show where she produced lifestyle and family segments. Anything creative and fun makes her happy! She and her family live in the beautiful Niagara, Ontario region of Canada.  

Social Media Links –

Facebook –

Instagram –

Twitter –

LinkedIn –

Share the Post:

Subscribe to Our eNewsletter

SUBSCRIBE to our weekly eNewsletter! Be among the first to know about new authors, podcasts, events, and more for help on your dementia journey. As a welcome gift, you may download our FREE booklet “Caring for a Mother with Dementia,”  featuring 15 quality titles. Subscription is through You may unsubscribe at any time.

Support Our Mission

Your support enables us to continue to provide quality resources for dementia caregivers. We appreciate any donation. Thank you for your support!