Embracing a full life in the midst of suffering

After Jay Brenneman’s wife was diagnosed at age 59 with Frontotemporal Dementia, he watched this disease progress, stealing his brilliant life companion’s vibrant personality along with her verbal and intellectual functions. He journaled as he grieved, trying to process the horror of what was happening to their lives and dreams.

Jay’s reflections, shared in small but articulate and insightful portions, are honest, raw, and searching. Each of them is also imbued with a sliver of hope. With time, Jay learns to embrace a full life in the midst of suffering, just as Janene in one of her last spoken phrases had summoned him, to “Take a larger way.”


Our culture resists descent and suffering, leaving us unpracticed and afraid. Jay Brenneman’s reflections bring light into the darkness of a situation we cannot fix, control, or change, making sacred our wounds that are borne in loneliness and grief.
Fr. Richard Rohr – Franciscan, Author, Founder of The Center for Contemplation and Action

Jay Brenneman unpacks the painful pivot from a husband/lover/companion with a bright future (Plan A) to an unprepared caregiver (Plan B).  For all of us who have cared for a loved one with this dreadful disease, Jay’s reflections will help put into words what we all experienced but could not articulate. In my 15 plus years of volunteer leadership with the Alzheimer’s Association, this is the best caregiving testimony I have ever had the privilege of hearing. Soak in it. Ponder it. Smile and weep. You will be glad you did.
Christopher Binkley – former Chairman/Governing Board of the Alzheimer’s Association,
and Regional President of Kaiser Permanente of Colorado & Georgia

About the Author

JAY BRENNEMAN invests his professional life in personal and leadership development as an executive coach and family business advisor. His consulting business, VOCARE, is based out of Denver, Colorado where he resides. He holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas and Master of Social Work from the University of Denver. Jay and Janene have been married 50 years and have three daughters living in Aspen and San Francisco.