The Longest Goodbye: A Family’s Hope-Filled Journey Through Alzheimers by Shelly Calcagno [REVIEW]


Are we ever ready to say goodbye?

I wasn’t prepared for her to go. To have her sit right beside me, yet be so far away. My mother and life-long best friend who doesn’t even remember my name. It’s been the longest goodbye. And I keep asking this question—how do we love through the hardest of days? Through the pain and the loss? Listening to the slow ticking of the clock, as we sit watching everything slip away. Most of the time we don’t have a choice. I didn’t have a choice. So we look for glimmers of hope, reach for deep grace, and collect precious memories into a big pile of legacy love. We treasure each goodbye like it’s the most important moment we’ve ever had. Because it is.

Alzheimer’s disease affects almost fifty million people worldwide. It touches people across every walk of life. So, how do millions of people figure out how to love as they let go? The Longest Goodbye is a collection of stories and moments not just about the clinical side of memory loss–but the emotional heart journey. It is a story that shows how joy and grief are often intertwined and wrapped up together in the glorious mess of life.

The Longest Goodbye encourages readers to remember the ones they love while they are still here and to intentionally celebrate and live through the pain and hard days. It’s filled with tears, hope, and bitter-sweet moments all held together by the beautiful love of a mother and daughter holding onto a life filled with memories, while learning to let go and say goodbye.


I love that each short chapter and reflection can be read on its own without losing the intended lesson.

Within each chapter, I felt the author’s honest and raw emotion as her family navigated Alzheimer’s.

At the onset I told myself that I would only read one chapter per day (like a devotional). Yet I failed…I always read at least two chapters. That is the mark of a good book, “unputdownability”

If you or someone you know is in a similar place, I highly encourage you to read this book and buy an extra copy for a friend.

Thanks for the free book, @AmbassadorIntl!
I am an @AmbassadorIntl #bookreviewer and #partner!

I received this book FREE from the author, publisher, distributor, or other source. My only obligation is to provide a fair and honest review.


  1. Just wanted you to know Barbara, that I purchased this book to give as a present because of your write-up. I know in my spirit that it will minister encouragement. Your employer is blessed to have you and we, your subscribers, are too. I have missed your personal blogs but realize you have many important responsibilities, precious wonder woman.
    God bless, and bless you more.

    Liked by 1 person

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