Keeper of the Clouds

I wrote Keeper of the Clouds as part of my caregiving experience to my mother who, at 57 years old was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Fairly early in my caregiving journey I realized that the methodologies and strategies I was offered as a caregiver didn't work for me as a person and as my mother's daughter. I wanted to find meaningful ways to connect with my mother, who happened to also be my closest friend. As a literary major and an artist I found taking photos, writing about my experiences, composing songs and making up games I could play together with my mother far more engaging and fun than going to therapy. Later of course I was able to appreciate the therapeutic and healing qualities arts have.

Writing Keeper of the Clouds and mentoring Evi Tampold through her final project for Alpha II Alternative School. A project that resulted in transforming my short memoir about me experience with my mother into a Graphic Medicine Memoir has become a meaningful part of my engagement with my mother as I would show her the images and ask for her opinion. Even when she was no longer able to communicate verbally, through her body language and facial expressions she would communicate her content or discontent. In this way, my mother took an active part in producing Keeper of the Clouds and so becoming an agent of change in our story.

ליזה ואבא של הליד מיטת אמא החולה

I'm proud of our mutual artistic endeavor and encourage you to read it and allow yourself to be inspired by it.

I'm happy to offer consultation and guidance on how to get started on creating your own graphic medicine memoir and am happy to support you and your loved ones in this creative process. Read more on this service here.

You can hear more about my caregiver's journey in my TEDx Talk

You can also book a lecture and a workshop for your organization here.

Liza, thank you!

Liza, the wake on Saturday was so so so beautiful and a big part of it was the inspiration and support you offered me, so thank you!

Meghan Hellstern
Human-centered design, public sector innovation, facilitation and capacity-building

Liza not only guided our meetings but also coordinated our individual research efforts between meetings

What stands out most of all is Liza's vision is her ability to engage people and to bring out their best - to achieve surprising results.

Mark McAlister

If you have a chance to work with Liza, do not pass it up! She is wonderful!

She truly cares about the betterment of the world and all those around her. She will do all she can to help you improve your life and support you in your journey

Nataliya Zlotnikov
Healthcare content writer at Embodia Inc, Founder & Personal trainer at Emergency Room Fitness, Dancer at KasheDance

One of the major challenges in dementia care today is isolation for both the diagnosed individual and family members. Keeper offers a glimpse for how to communicate and rebuild relationships that encourages family members to be present in the moment as much as possible, helping the person in their care bring their rich inner world into being through attentive listening and engagement.

Keeper of the Clouds illustrates an instance in time between a mother living with Alzheimer's and her daughter. In the midst of an overwhelming experience, Keeper points to a moment of stillness and beauty that helps the daughter enhance her connection with her mother's world.

You can read a review of Keeper of the Clouds on the Graphic Medicine website


Liza Futerman

I write and publish stories of lived experience, integrating visual arts and poetic reflection to tap into subject matters to do with mental and physical health. I love creative collaborations such that if you find my writing and thinking compelling and you happen to be a visual artist, I'd love to hear from you and explore avenues of working together.

Keeper of the Clouds