Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Still Alice -- the movie

On Sunday, my husband, son, daughter-in-law and I went to see Still Alice.  If you have been following this blog you know that I have told everyone to read the book.  It took me a very long time to read the book, because as I saw myself in the pages, it scared me. "Alice" was (is) me.  I would read a little, put it down for days, pick it back up only to put it back down immediately.  When I finally finished it I was so glad the book had been written -- it so aptly described my life and those living with Alzheimer's disease.

My family had not read the book before we saw the movie.  I was anxious to see their reaction and to gauge my own.  

My reaction -- at first I thought someone "had hit me in the gut". Watching Alice cope with things, knowing what was going through her mind was wrenching for me.  The words she spoke were the exact same words I have spoken to my family or friends. It was almost scary to see it -- to have her feel what you have felt and not being able to communicate it to others.  It is very moving -- I didn't cry until close to the end.  It was when Alice's daughter gives birth to twins and Alice goes to visit her in the hospital. When she asks to hold the baby her son-in-law gives his wife a look as if he is saying "is she capable of holding the baby?".  Alice very quickly says "I know how to hold a baby" and the new father gives her one of the babies to hold.  This got to me because I have had this same scenario in my mind many times.  My son and his wife don't have children yet, but I have silently worried that if and when they do -- they won't feel as if I will be capable of holding the baby or being an appropriate grandmother.  After that scene, the floodgates opened for me.  There were many tears in the theatre that day. I was emotionally spent after the movie.

At the end the screen goes white and people literally just sat in their seats and stared at the screen.  It was very emotional.

On the way back to my son's house, not much was said in the car.  Everyone was just trying to digest what they had seen.  Since they hadn't read the book, I think the impact of the movie was pretty strong.

Many who read this blog don't actually know me -- but if you see Still Alice -- you will know me. Thanks to Lisa Genova, the author of Still Alice (and a friend of mine) for writing such an epic novel. She had no idea when writing this book several years ago what an impact it would have on the Alzheimer's community. I am so grateful to her and her work.

Still Alice is still in limited release but by the end of February it should be in many more theatres. Don't miss the opportunity to see Julianne Moore's portrayal of Alice.


Anonymous said...

I loved the book too & can't wait to see the movie! I'm a nurse who cares for patients with Alzheimer's. I feel for you, thank you for posting this!

Betty said...

Thank you so much for posting. You are very courageous. I am sure knowing you are living with Alzheimer's must be very difficult. Writing your blog and sharing your experience is such a kind, caring way to make a difference.
I loved 'Still Alice' and have read it a couple of times. I refer it to everyone. Going to see movie tomorrow. Finding a theatre has been difficult. Thanks for letting us know it may soon be released in many more.
I have worked, for many years, with those suffering from dementia.
I would like to follow your blog.
I want you to know I am sending you so many blessings. I know it is easier said than done, but try to treat yourself with as much love and kindness as you can, taking one day at a time. Thank you❤️

Anonymous said...

I read this as I loved the book and I used to work with Laurel and recently lost my brother in-law ( BIL) to AD. I cried halfway through reading this as I read a lot of books on early onset AD when my by BIL got diagnosed 4 years ago. I am going to be involved in raising money by walking for AD. Hang in there and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings it takes a lot to do this. You are stronger than you realize. Hugs to you and your family.

Dale said...

My dad has Alzheimer's. He lived with my husband, my two disabled daughters and myself for 8 years. Last year, he was admitted to a Nursing Home. I felt guilty placing him but knew that my health was beginning to suffer and I needed the energy to care for my daughters and husband. My dad is 94 and he appears to enjoy his new home. And , he is a staff favourite as he still has such a wonderful sense of humour. Your blog is inspiring. It gives me hope that I will be okay if I develop Alzheimer's. There are several on my dad's side who have been diagnosed. I do everything I can to keep my brain healthy including learning a new language. I hope you continue your blog..it's so helpful to me. God Bless you and your family

Inge said...

Thans to you I read the book. First in English, later also in Dutch. And now I'm going to see the movie. Unfortunately my father won't be able to join me, 'his' Alzheimer doesn't allow him to.

Greetings from the Netherlands,


Anonymous said...

Thank you , I too suffer from this horrible disease. I read the book and watched the move a part of the move which made me cry was when she was giving her speech. Some days I wish I had cancer and maybe people would understand
Thank you