Will Not Let Me Go
July 20, 2018 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Will Not Let Me Go Dallas, Texas. 1996. Fred Strickland has Alzheimer’s. An interactive story about memory, loss, and love. [via mefi projects]
posted by jazon (13 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Jesus Christ that is too real. Not sure I can finish it. Excellent project.
posted by latkes at 6:55 AM on July 20, 2018

Reading a book online with hotlinks is possibly the coolest new interface I've seen this year. But the lines are a bit too short, and I'm never sure if clicking one word or the end when there are two turns it into a 'choose your adventure' type book.

I don't want to give anything away, but past what I guess would be the first chapter, the visuals and interface gets even cooler (and appropriate to the story).
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:34 AM on July 20, 2018

posted by sageleaf at 8:04 AM on July 20, 2018

Interesting. It feels uncomfortably close.
posted by anadem at 9:00 AM on July 20, 2018

I should perhaps not have read that.

My father died in October 2015 of frontotemporal dementia after about two years of decline.

His 70th birthday would have been the 13th of this month.

(okay pretend that there's two comments here because I took a break to go cry but the comment window is still up)

But maybe I should have read it because I live 3000 miles from my family and I really have no idea what she dealt with on a day to day basis - all I know now is that I just spent 10 minutes sobbing in the bathroom but I think I needed to get that out of my system. I don't feel better exactly but I feel clearer about this, like I understand more what my mom and dad lived with.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:35 AM on July 20, 2018 [11 favorites]

I don't feel better exactly but I feel clearer about this, like I understand more what my mom and dad lived with.

Hi, I'm the author. What you said means a lot to me. I don't take you engaging with the work lightly, or the pain bound up in your experience. Thank you.

I watched my grandfather slip into dementia and my grandmother care for him until, slowly but suddenly, she wasn't able to any more. There are so many family members on my dad's side of the family who had dementia, and he and I have had frank discussions of what that meant for us and for his potential future care.

I wrote the story to help process my feelings and to find, if not hope, then a steely resolve to remember that the end of a life is not the sum total of that life.
posted by sgranade at 10:58 AM on July 20, 2018 [13 favorites]

This is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. I am thankful it saves progress, because I keep having to put it down. Thank you.
posted by kimberussell at 12:12 PM on July 20, 2018

As I said in over in the project post, my wife and I care for her mother, who's in mid-stage Alzheimer's. And, like FritoKAL, my father also passed in 2015 after a year suffering from Frontotemporal Dementia.

It took me about three hours to go through the story yesterday, having to take breaks between chapters. I'm still thinking about it today, and how it gives sharp insight into what someone suffering from Alzheimer's or other dementia experience. Even now I'm getting damp-eyed thinking back. This will stay with me for a long time.

sgranade, thank you for creating and sharing the story. My thought, prayers, and heart goes out to everyone having to deal with this. It can be a lonely battle, especially knowing that there really is no hope - the downward spiral goes ever onward till the end.

Finally, I want to give a plug for the Alzheimer's Association - alz.org had a ton of resources and their help line at 800.272.3900 is a lifeline available 24/7.
posted by jazon at 12:23 PM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

that was quite beautiful. thank you, sgranade, for the story, and jazon, for sharing the story and the alz.org resources.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:48 PM on July 20, 2018

sgranade, thank you. As I have noted here in the Blue before, my mother died of Alzheimer's. So much of this felt so familiar and so personal, especially the humor. Mom for so very long did not lose her sense of humor in general and about her condition.
posted by oflinkey at 3:02 PM on July 20, 2018

sgranade, that is the most moving, beautiful and horrifying thing I've ever read about Alzheimer's. My mother died some years ago, after a 10-year walk with it. She lost her eyesight to macular degeneration, and her hearing also - you captured how I imaging her shrunken world might have sometimes seemed. Thank you. I'll be back to read more.
posted by dbmcd at 3:07 PM on July 20, 2018

posted by current resident at 12:12 PM on July 21, 2018

Back to say I LOVE the thought you put into the styling on the pages, sgranade, especially background hue. So well done. So very well done.
posted by kimberussell at 10:02 PM on July 21, 2018

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