Praise for Love in a Time of Crisis

“Vivian writes with the same engaging tenderness that she portrays in caring for her husband, George, in his final months. She has a sixth sense that causes her to be tuned in to the needs of others while encouraging their independence. This book, while very personal, will be a pointed and practical guide to many, giving daily courage and perspective for those experiencing a challenging change in their journey of life.”
—Ken Heflin, DMin, retired pastor, United Methodist Church

“As both a caregiver and a psychologist, I found this book a balm for my tired soul and a guide for both myself and my clients who walk this difficult path.”
—Amy Johnson-Colwell, PhD, licensed psychologist

“Vivian’s book is not only a wonderful guide for those in challenging times but a treasure of wisdom for all who open its pages and their hearts.”
—Dave Ellingson, adventurer, author, and speaker

“This book is a must-read for anyone facing the end-of-life journey either for themselves or for a friend or loved one. The issue that separates this book from others with the same theme is total honesty. How rare it is to read an account that discusses with complete truthfulness the joys, sorrows, pains, and hopes of the journey that awaits us all.”
—Robert Hilton, PhD, author of Relational Somatic Psychotherapy

“This lovely book should be required reading for my nursing colleagues as it will give them insight into the challenges of caring not only for the patient but also for the family.”
—Janet Evans Emery, retired RN, MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner

“This insightful memoir offers solace to those who have experienced Alzheimer’s disease and its effect on others.”
—Ashley Croslin, Director of Wellness Programs, Regents Point

“What a treasure this book is. Vivian provides a rare glimpse into the soul of the caregiving journey. With insight and stunning transparency, she carries us into the depth of hardship and back into the light of tender possibilities. By generously sharing her love, strength, and courage, she inspires readers to find their own.”
—Corby Beahm, MS, RN

“Vivian’s words are an honest reflection of grief and hardship and yet leave you embedded in a love story that is stronger than death. She will take you on a deeply moving journey.”
—Anne Hoang, BSN, RN, ACM

“Vivian Johnson’s saga of her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease is told with brutal honesty and tenderness. Beautifully written and inspiring.”
—George Nakai, MD

“Vivian Elaine Johnson’s book, Love in a Time of Crisis, presents an honest, forthright sharing of her caregiving journey with her husband in the last years of his life. The gradual and insidious decline of her husband stretched her physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual strength and her creativity as a caregiver. With passion, warmth, humor, vulnerability, and love, she has given us a helpful and engaging narrative on living and dying.”
—Ruth Halvorson, founder and first Director, ARC Retreat Community, and author of A Journey of Grief, Gratitude, and Grace and When the Heart Is Stirred

“What a beautiful, personal, honest, and authentic sharing of the caregiver’s journey. Vivian shows us that through grace we are allowed to be sad, hurt, exhausted, and even angry when we are caring for a loved one—and how important humor is to get us through this end-of-life adventure. I was a hospice social worker for twenty years, and I wish I’d had this book to give to the family members I worked with. Love in a Time of Crisis will be a wonderful resource and comfort for caregivers as they navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one and will give them hope in the midst of loss.”
—Linda Eickman, LSW, retired hospice social worker

Love in a Time of Crisis is relatable and relevant with the most current coping and helping strategies known to psychotherapists—made perfect through the author’s description of what life was like for her and her husband as she gently walks you through their ever-changing circumstances. Forthright and honest about the challenges of being the primary caregiver, Vivian’s book will comfort you in your isolation with creative coping and caretaking strategies. Surprisingly, Vivian’s suggestions on what most worked for her and her husband are not at all reliant on big investments in outside resources but rather self-care, friends, perspective, and love. Her story is heartbreaking, inspiring, and so very important.”
—Lori Underwood, MA, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

“Vivian Johnson’s keen insights and observations are timely, real, and personal. Her exquisitely lovely book provides wise and gentle guidance in how to navigate the joys and heartbreaks of the caregiver’s journey, offering her unique blend of grace, humor, and courage to support those who are struggling with similar challenges.” 
—Patricia Aynes, attorney-at-law and Moderator, Irvine United Congregational Church

“This journey with George expresses Vivian’s enduring love and acceptance, maneuvers some sharp edges while smoothing the corners, and deeply reflects grief and loss but also hope, as life goes on. A beautiful love story.”
—Carol Bradley Beason, MSW, LCSW, retired Executive Director, Cheney Outreach Center

“Having served as a parish pastor for more than fifty years, I highly recommend Love in a Time of Crisis as a must-read for all theological students and others preparing for a life of service. I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading about Vivian’s struggles of the heart as the caretaker for her husband.”
—Hub Nelson, pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“It’s taken decades as a hospice social worker for me to craft a meaningful and gentle way of helping people move through a space of grief and loss. Vivian’s journey with George beautifully captures the dance, where her reflections take us to both celebratory and uncomfortable spaces that create balance with truth.
“Vivian illustrates Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief and their application in the aging and developmental process we all must confront at the end of life. In George and Vivian’s complex journey, we see these developmental tasks in expedited time but with tempered grace.
“This book is an easy-to-read road map to Caregiving 101 for the one you love and shows you how to find hope through the suffering.”
—Gregory Rice, MSW, hospice, geriatric, and medical social worker

“As she navigates through the impending loss of a beloved spouse to Alzheimer’s in a world that is roiling from a viral pandemic, Johnson writes both elegantly and courageously. Her clear-eyed ability to put her thoughts and observations into words makes this book a healing balm for those who are seeking support as they face their own challenges ahead.”
—The Rev. Dr. Paul Tellström, Pastor Emeritus, Irvine United Congregational Church

“This beautifully written book tells the poignant story of Vivian Johnson’s journey through Alzheimer’s with her husband, George. She gives voice to the challenges they faced with compassion, humor, and love. Grace and hope can be found in the pages of this book.”
—Sharon Lynn, MSW, former Director, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, Virginia

“An honest and hopeful account about caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s. Johnson describes how her beloved, powerful husband gradually disconnects and disappears into illness, and she emerges with love and faith intact, as well as a growing sense of her own strength and value.”
—Francesca Cancian, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Irvine; and marriage and family therapist

“As someone who has cared for a family member with end-stage Alzheimer’s and also been cared for during my own simultaneous breast cancer journey, I found Vivian Johnson’s achingly real portrait of life from both perspectives—the caregiver and the cared for—to be a master class in understanding the importance of crisis sharing, not as a dump on other people, but as a means to recognize that humans are not meant to be isolated lamps unto themselves in times of darkness. We are meant to share our light with others and in that we can survive what seem to be insurmountable odds and come out the other side, wiser and better human beings.”
—Anne McDaniel, educator, author, positivity blogger, and five-year breast cancer thriver

“All pastors should have a few copies of Love in a Time of Crisis in their office. It’s a wonderful book to pass along to caregivers and families affected by Alzheimer’s or other terminal illnesses. Vivian Johnson writes with such clarity and kindness. Even when describing painful times, she has humor and compassion for herself and her beloved husband, George. This book will help readers feel less alone during difficult family times.”
—Pastor Brenda Bos, Bishop, Southwest California Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“Vivian Johnson has given us a very personal—and poetic—look at how to recognize and accept the mixed emotions in providing end-of-life care. Her ability and willingness to share the emotions involved in caring for her loved and cherished husband gives us a beautiful and personally enriching view of how to be in a loving relationship.”
—Howard B. Emery, MD

Love in a Time of Crisis is a companion for your soul. To all those who travel the road of caregiving for someone they love, this book offers the reality and hardships as well as the laughter and grace that come with it. Vivian extends an authentic, tender, and truthful reflection that pulls you into her story and the final chapter with her husband, George. As she writes, ‘Forgive everything. Remember the best,’ and thank God for it all. Her writing is a beautiful gift and gives us all ‘ointment for the wounds.’”
—Robinmarie McClement, Spiritual Director and Educator, A Flowing Spirit

“As the caregiver for my beloved mother who passed in November 2020, I struggled with not being the ‘perfect’ daughter. Vivian’s writing helped me realize that others (even pastor’s wives) can be flawed, even though their love is deep and their intentions are good. It has helped me find a peace that nothing else had.”
—Lynn LaPointe, retired registered nurse and former caregiver

“In Love in a Time of Crisis, Vivian Johnson lays bare her trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows, relief and anguish as she cares for her Alzheimer’s-inflicted husband in his final days. This book is a must-read for all who may undertake such a task. As a psychotherapist, I have great admiration for her wisdom and compassion and her understanding of the needs of both her husband and herself.”
—Virginia Wink Hilton, PhD

“Vivian expresses the thoughts, struggles, and feelings of so many of the families I have come to know in the work of hospice spiritual counselor. Her book will no doubt bring encouragement to those learning how to live while caring for a loved one with debilitating and life-ending illnesses. This book will stir up smiles, tears, and reminders that you are not alone.”
—Gerardo D. Camarena, BA, MAT, Spiritual Counselor, Silverado Hospice

“Johnson’s wealth of life experiences brings depth and compassion to her message of hope and healing for caretakers and all who interact with humanity.”
—Mary Wennes, retired educator and social justice advocate

“This is not a guidebook for the care of those diagnosed with dementia, yet it is definitely helpful because Johnson shares very personal challenges and effective ways of navigating the uncertain and long path of incremental loss and grieving. Through the changing experiences of communication, socializing, daily care, recreation, and her relationship with her husband, Johnson writes beautifully of her attempts to maintain quality of life. Having experienced this journey myself, I found Johnson’s fears, frustrations, joys, anger, humor, and embarrassment so very honest and a cathartic read I highly recommend.”
—Sandy Exelby, educator

“I think this book would be so helpful to caregivers, family, friends, and professionals. I was also inspired by Ms. Johnson’s ideas for how to rebuild her life and plan to try them.”
—Sara Smith Ellison, retired Director of Community Relations

“Vivian is honest about her questions, frustrations, joys, and changes in her relationship with her husband as well as the changes that take place in the other relationships that fill their world. The reader is given the opportunity to experience the intimate transition that takes place from being the ‘helpmate’ for George, her accomplished husband, to moving past that definition of herself and understanding what her new role is as caregiver. This book is a benediction of sorts, a blessing and encouragement to anyone caring for another person who is slipping away from them physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
—Bob Mooney, Senior Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Yorba Linda, California

“I laughed and I cried. You will too. A deeply rich and moving journey of a wise and compassionate caregiver who has had the courage to look within and put her heartfelt meaningful experience into a poetic beautiful story. To use her own words, I found it to be a salve for the soul.”
—Jean Stewart, MA, therapist and certified addiction specialist

“Vivian exudes unshakable hope in this enlightening, authentic window into the reality of caring for someone. There is a reason she and George first addressed a key component: finances. In the absence of financial security, experience has taught me that hope and healing are much harder to come by. Plan ahead.”
—Bill Wedde, FIC, Financial Consultant, Thrivent

“Johnson does such a special job of sharing her feelings whether sad, loving, wry, or even funny. Thank you for this intimate picture.”
—Libby Keating, caregiver

“This is an outstanding memoir. It is a collection of stories, chronicles of experiences, and reflections on the process of loving during a time of crisis.”
—Ellen M. Holmgren, MSW