Also by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle

Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows

About the Book   |   Reviews   |   Praise    |   Press


“Many themes run through this story. One is the powerful role that Olivia and Hob's love and affection plays in their coping with the challenge of Hob's Alzheimer's. Another is the importance of the acceptance of suffering. . . There is not much we can do about aging or Alzheimer's, but, as Olivia Hoblitzelle reveals here, accepting the condition in which we find ourselves can be a far more positive approach in the long run.”

— His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

“I stand in awe of Olivia’s honesty, determination, courage, and...the majesty of her loving, not just of Hob, but of life, and of hard-won integrity. I also stand in awe of her gentle voice as both writer and teacher.”

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Author, Coming to Your Senses: Healing Ourselves and Our World Through Mindfulness, Founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic, University of Massachusetts Medical Center

“Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows offers a vision of lives well-led, and of love in the thick of crisis and loss. This poignant story of Hob and Olivia entering the abyss of Alzheimer’s will move and enchant you, and disturb you in the best way. Beyond inspiring.”

— Daniel Goleman

Author, Emotional Intelligence

“A heart-felt, wise, honest, and tender book. Enormously helpful both to those facing Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.”

— Jack Kornfield

Author, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, Founder / Director of Spirit Rock Meditation Center

“An eloquent and honest account of a long slow ordeal: because this life trial is experienced and shared by two brave, likeable, and loving people, it transcends pain and loss and becomes an inspiration.”

— Peter Matthiessen (Muryo Roshi)

Author, The Snow Leopard

“This beautiful book is unlike any other personal account of living with Alzheimer’s disease that I have ever read. After thirty years of practice in this field, Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows changed the way I think about Alzheimer’s disease... This heuristic, epiphany provoking, poetically written book offers patients and families practical insights into how they can live their love more fully and derive meaning from amidst the heartbreak of a mind-robbing illness.”

— Paul Raia

Director of Patient Care and Family Support, Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts Chapter

“If the art of living is the ability to use misfortune in a constructive fashion, Olivia Hoblitzelle has provided a superb example of how this is to be accomplished . . . A warm and glowing book which I will share with many of my personal and professional friends.”

— Bruce H. Price, M.D.

Chief of Neurology, McLean Hospital

Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

“An invaluable, compassionate, and spiritual harvest of redemptive insights that will both excite and challenge the reader. This affirming message of hope and healing is a must read, ... a gem to be treasured.”

— Rabbi Earl A. Grollman

Author, When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer’s: The Caregiver’s Journey, written with Dr. Kenneth Kosik

“Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows is lyrically beautiful, and timelessly poignant, even as it traces the steps of a journey that no one wants to take... We don’t always get to choose what happens in this life, but we can choose to grow in compassion and wisdom as a result. Olivia Hoblitzelle offers valuable, practical methods for doing so. Her suggestions ring clear and true because she knows the territory intimately in all its pain and promise and has given us the gift of sharing it.”

— Joan Borysenko

Author, Your Soul’s Compass: What is Spiritual Guidance?, Founder / Director of Mind-Body Health Sciences

“Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows is a story of courage, love, and growing wisdom in the face of Alzheimer’s. Olivia Hoblitzelle charts the course of her husband’s cognitive loss and their deepening insights into life and death, intimacy and separation. I was moved and inspired by this heartful and wonderfully honest account of the daily challenges of opening to the unknown. Olivia shares with us the gift of awareness and the grace of love.”

— Joseph Goldstein

Author, One Dharma, Founder / Director, Insight Meditation Society

“This powerful book guides us through the tender last years of a great and wise man who awakened on the journey through the loss of his mental acuity... A book of great inspiration, courage, and hope, every word rings with truth, kindness, and the beauty of the human spirit.”

— Roshi Joan Halifax

Author, Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, Founder / Director, Upaya Zen Center

“This is a lovely book, a moving account of a difficult passage, full of heart and wisdom. It is an offering from a true spiritual friend. Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows is sure to serve as a support, inspiration and companion for many.”

— Sharon Salzberg

Author, Faith, Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, Co-founder, Insight Meditation Society

“This absorbing story is much more than a ‘how to’ book on coping with Alzheimer's. With a broader and more discerning brush, it paints a vivid picture of how love deepens and matures as a couple lives through adversity and indeed through the ups and downs of ordinary life. It is also a compelling narrative with page after page of pathos, humor, and insight.”

— Harvey Cox

Author, The Future of Faith, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

“The majesty of loving comes through on every page of this wise and touching book. It has helped me to remember life’s precious gifts and fleeting yet miraculous nature. I heartily recommend this teaching memoir, rich with memorable life lessons and poignant anecdotes, to anyone wishing to deal with life’s most difficult passages in a deeply meaningful and beautifully growthful way.”

— Lama Surya Das

Author, Buddha Is as Buddha Does and Awakening the Buddha Within, Founder, the Western Buddhist Teachers Network

“A masterful work full of courage, honesty, and, above all, love. Invaluable for all of us humans; especially so if you have a contemplative bent. I completed the book, put it down and was so moved that I could not speak for hours.”

— Larry Rosenberg

Author, Breath By Breath and Living in the Light of Death, Founder and Guiding Teacher, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

“This memoir is full of gems for relatives and friends struggling to cope with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease. It is loaded with psychological and spiritual insights ... and is perhaps the most helpful book for caregivers that I have read in my twenty-year history of working in the field. All of us can learn from her experience and wisdom.”

— Daniel Kuhn, MSW

Director, Professional Training Institute, Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter

“This beautiful yet practical book provides a spiritual dimension to a caregiver’s challenges in handling Alzheimer’s disease and other terminal situations.... If you know anyone caring for someone facing certain death, this book could be the best gift ever. It glows with inner light and practical wisdom and surely will become a contemporary classic.”

— Alice O. Howell

Author, The Heavens Declare: Astrological Ages and the Evolution of Consciousness, Jungian astrologer

“This is a remarkable book, not only written skillfully but with a rare mix of loving attention, humor, practical wisdom, and a deep sense that two people are taking the journey into Alzheimer’s together.”

— Reeve Lindbergh

Author, Under A Wing, No More Words: A Journal of My Mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“The book certainly has changed my relationship with the disease and my wife who has early onset Alzheimer's. It has not only opened opportunities of love and affection, but also an ear that I did not have before reading the book.”

— Richard Kyuan Swanson

IT Expert and Zen practitioner