All Gone

All Gone

A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. with Refreshments

By Alex Witchel

Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594487910, 224pp.

Publication Date: September 27, 2012

A daughter's longing love letter to amother who has slipped beyond reach.
Just past seventy, Alex Witchel's smart, adoring, ultracapable mother began to exhibit undeniablesigns of dementia. Her smart, adoring, ultracapabledaughter reacted as she d been raised: If somethingwas broken, they would fix it. But as medical realityundid that hope, and her mother continued the torturous process of disappearing in plain sight, Witchel retreated to the kitchen, trying to reclaim her motherat the stove by cooking the comforting foods of herchildhood: Is there any contract tighter than a family recipe?
Reproducing the perfect meat loaf was no panacea, but it helped Witchel come to terms with herpredicament, the growing phenomenon of ambiguous loss loss of a beloved one who lives on.Gradually she developed a deeper appreciation forall the ways the parent she was losing lived on in her, starting with the daily commandment Tell me everything that happened today that started a future reporter and writer on her way. And she was inspired toturn her experience into this frank, bittersweet, andsurprisingly funny account that offers true balm foran increasingly familiar form of heartbreak.

About the Author
Alex Witchel is a staff writer for "The New York Times Magazine" and also writes "Feed Me," a monthly column for the "Times" Dining section. The author of the novels "The Spare Wife" and "Me Times Three", she lives in New York City with her husband, Frank Rich.