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Walking Through Twilight:

A Wife’s Illness

— A Philosopher’s Lament, by Douglas Groothuis | Foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff

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How do you continue to find God as dementia pulls your loved one into the darkness?

Nothing is simple for a person suffering from dementia, and for those they love. When ordinary tasks of communication, such as using a phone, become complex, then difficult, and then impossible, isolation becomes inevitable. Helping becomes excruciating.

In these pages philosopher Douglas Groothuis offers a window into his experience of caring for his wife as a rare form of dementia ravages her once-brilliant mind and eliminates her once-stellar verbal acuity. Mixing personal narrative with spiritual insight, he captures moments of lament as well as philosophical and theological reflection. Brief interludes provide poignant pictures of life inside the Groothuis household, and we meet a parade of caregivers, including a very skilled companion dog.

Losses for both Doug and Becky come daily, and his questions for God multiply as he navigates the descending darkness. Here is a frank exploration of how one continues to find God in the twilight.

What people are saying:

Eric Metaxas

“Douglas Groothuis’s Walking Through Twilight is an extraordinarily moving memoir of lament. In inviting the reader into the experience of his wife’s progressive dementia, he combines superb writing and the incisive thinking of a first-rate philosopher, which he is. But far beyond this, the book is filled with liberating honesty and the particular beauty of unadorned truth. Hearing God in the thunder and lightning is easy, but hearing him in what sounds mostly like silence takes a particularly keen and delicate ear, one this author possesses in abundance.” 

Eric Metaxas
- radio host of the Eric Metaxas Show, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

“Poignant. Profound. Powerful. This very personal journey through a wife’s dementia will astound you with its eloquence and insights. The path through twilight is painful, but—thank God!—it’s not without ultimate hope. This is a memoir that will mark you forever.”

Lee Strobel
- professor of Christian thought, Houston Baptist University, author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith

“To be honest, I’ve never read a book like this. It overflows with deep reflection on the suffering of life and the apparent absence of God at the very times we need him most. But the specialness of this book lies in Groothuis’s raw, unfiltered, and bewildering expression of emotion—pain, agony, confusion—regarding the journey of his dear wife, Becky, and its impact on Doug’s own pilgrimage. There are no cheap Christian slogans, no slapping of a Bible verse as a Band-Aid on a near-mortal wound, no simplistic happily-ever-after. But there is hope. Hope built on deep reflection about Christianity, suffering, and the meaning of life. To me, this is the best book my dear friend has ever written. Its healing powers will penetrate your soul as you slowly read through its pages.”

J. P. Moreland
- distinguished professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

“Would I write as Doug Groothuis does here? Could I even begin to? I was profoundly humbled by this memoir. Philosophers are all about clear thinking, but the classroom is beggared by the anguish described here with such searing honesty, such poetic insight, such intense clarity, and such unconquerable hope.”

Os Guinness
- author of Impossible People
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