Wife, Just Let Go: Zen, Alzheimer's, and Love

Wife, Just Let Go: Zen, Alzheimer's, and Love

by Robert Briggs, Diana Saltoon


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An extraordinary love story, Wife Just Let Go are the last words Robert Briggs wrote to his wife before he passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. A publisher, literary agent, and author who deeply felt the influence of the Beat era, Robert never stopped writing. Even in his later stages of Alzheimer’s, Robert was able to share insights into what he called “the power of aging,” and his love of poetry, jazz, and Zen. He continued to write, valiantly, of his younger days and of his stint in the army when he and his platoon witnessed an atomic bomb explosion at Frenchman Flat, Nevada, an experience that forever haunted his imagination. What began as a promise to publish his last works evolved into this duo-memoir. His wife Diana, as his long-time partner and primary caregiver, joined him in this telling, as a way to restore for the reader, and for Robert, the parts of the story he was losing. Her meditative commentary became her solace through her own path of pain and grief as she witnessed the daily, wrenching loss of her husband’s memory, and ultimately his death. Poignantly written yet unflinchingly honest, the book navigates not only the waters of grief and loss, but also the other side of Alzheimer’s: gifts that sustain and inspire loved ones left behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780931191206
Publisher: Robert Briggs Associates
Publication date: 08/11/2017
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Robert Briggs attended Auburn and Columbia Universities and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He became a partner in The San Francisco Book Company in 1972 and in 1973 founded Robert Briggs Associates, a group of West Coast consultants to writers and small publishers. Author and publisher, he created multimedia projects including Jazz and Poetry & Other Reasons, reads accompanied by jazz musicians in performances in Portland, OR He was involved in early West Coast jazz and poetry scenes where he performed in San Francisco's Jazz Cellar. To Briggs, "Jazz is to music, what poetry is to knowing." See www.ruinedtime.com.

Diana Saltoon has traveled extensively, studied yoga, and in the 1970s developed a program that dealt with modern stress. Her interest in Zen led to a study of Chado, The Way of Tea, as a Zen art and received a certificate of Chamei from the Urasenke School in Kyoto, Japan. Diana became a teacher at the Portland Wakai Tea Association in Oregon before moving to New York in 2011. She returned to Portland, Oregon, in 2014. A member of Zen communities in Oregon and New York, Diana continues to give presentations, classes and workshops on the Zen Art of Tea and continues to write. She is affiliated with the Oregon Haiku Society of America as well as the Haiku In English Maui.

Table of Contents

Face to Face; Preface.

1. For Robert at 83; 2. On My 83rd Birthday; 3. An Unanticipated Circus; 4. My First Interest in Poetry; 5. Some Favorite Poems; 6. Just Out of College; 7. My Own Atom Bomb; 8. A Crack in the Bowl; 9. On Dealing with Women; 10. The Night I Met Eleanor Roosevelt; 11. How Valued Still; 12. Some Political Thoughts; 13. Gifts of Alzheimer’s; 14. Poetry Revival in the 1950s; 15. Jazz; 16. The 1950s; 17. The Beat Phenomenon; 18. A Psychedelic Experience; 19. Anniversary; 20. Time & San Francisco; 21. A Dewdrop World; 22. Thoughts on Aging; 23. Positive Aspects of Aging; 24. Winter Memories; 25. Together; 26. On The Beach at Canon Beach; 27. The Way Within; 28. Zen; 29. Another Birthday; 30. On the Tragedy of September 11, 2001; 31. Jazz And Poetry & Other Reasons; 32. Change; 33. A Return to Greenwich Village; 34. A Human Condition; 35. Aging; 36. Existential Aging; 37. Friends; 38. Shall We Dance?; 39. Remembering; 40. Opus 22; 41. Portland, 2015; 42. Departure;

Epilogue; Acknowledgments; Bibliography; About the Authors

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