Steph Jagger shares Alzheimer’s Journey with Mom: Everything Left to Remember

About Steph Jagger - Everything Left to Remember

Everything Left to Remember - Steph Jagger By Steph Jagger, Washington, USA

I don’t like to be consumed by things. I think that’s the reason why I wrote Everything Left to Remember— why I chose to document, not only the good, the bad, and the magical, from the road trip I took with my mother, but also the role Alzheimer’s played on that road trip, before, during and after.

My experience, like many who are wading, or swimming, or flailing around in the waters of degenerative disease and/or cognitive decline, is fairly excruciating. I found the initial waves of grief, current and anticipatory, to be both consuming and confusing.

And if I feel like I’m being eaten by life, I usually stop and slow down so as to chew and digest.

As a mentor and coach, much of my work is dedicated to asking big questions and developing a curiosity around the things we don’t want to lock eyes with, especially the things we don’t want to lock eyes with. And, as best I can, I like to walk my talk.

Writing about my experience felt like the first, and most obvious, doorway for me to begin an exploration of all the things that felt hard and confusing.

And it did what it always does. It took me to a deeper place, a place well beyond the day-to-day difficulties with my mother and her progression (although those were, and still are, important to be present for and process) and into questions around lineage, ancestral trauma, the language(s) of our aliveness, devotion to things that are bigger than you, and eventually, mysticism.

I think that’s it. I think I was searching for the place in the Venn diagram where our humanity overlaps with our divinity and I had a feeling from the get-go that writing about this journey would help me find that intersection . . . and that rooting myself there might help make it all okay, even when it wasn’t.

I don’t think I’m alone in my search for a place to root myself as I lose a parent to this disease, nor as I feel the systems and structures that I thought would keep me safe and secure throughout my life, crumble and collapse in various ways. I have a deep sense that we are all asking questions about who or what will hold us through times of uncertainty and unknown.

This is why it felt important for me to write about, and share, a journey as personal as this. There’s a knowing for me inside about the creative process, a knowing that tells me personal is specific, specific is true, and true is relatable. I felt if I could create something relatable, resonant on some level, that perhaps, inside the uncertainty, we might be able to entwine our roots together. For to go through this with one another is excruciating, but to go through it alone is . . . well, it’s impossible really.

If there is anything I wish for us all to remember it is that we really do belong to one another.

Steph - JaggerAbout the Author

Steph Jagger is a the best-selling memoirist of two books. Her first, Unbound: A Story of Snow & Self-Discovery was published in 2017. Her second, a mother-daughter story called Everything Left to Remember was released in April of 2022.

Outside of being an author, Steph a sought-after mentor and coach whose offerings guide people toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their stories.

All of her work, including speaking and facilitating, lies at the intersection of loss, the nature of deep remembrance, and the personal journey of re-creation.

Steph grew up in Vancouver, Canada and currently lives and works on Bainbridge Island, WA.

Find more at or @stephjagger on Instagram.

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