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Surviving Death Divorce and Dementia without losing your mind

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The three “D’s,” Death, Divorce and Dementia. Surviving death, divorce and dementia without losing your mind is not a topic I ever expected to be writing about. When I started my blog over 7 years ago, it was a creative outlet to share what life was like living with four generations of family under one roof, the home renovation projects my dad, grandfather and I were doing, my DIY interior design tips on a budget and bits and pieces of my life. It was a hobby to keep friends and family updated which quickly turned into something so much more.

Jessica Bruno Four Generations One Roof logo

Our blog has always been “G” rated for lack of a better term and the only dirty laundry ever aired are the funny goofy things that happen, most of which were due to my grandfather’s old school mentality and the battles my grandparents would have on a regular basis that would leave me in tears from laughter. For those of you who know him personally, you know that living with him for as long as we did was a miracle. My family along with my parents have been multigenerational living for almost 11 years and my grandparents were with us for 8 of them. We are unique in that we don’t live together for financial reasons (although it does help) but we actually like being together under one roof .

Fred LaRock Sr Four Generations One Roof with cane at Beaumont Nursing Home

Behind the scenes we are no different than any other family or married couple. We have issues just like the rest of you.

2018 was probably one of the worst years I have ever had in my life. My grandmother passed away in late 2017, my grandfather slipped away into the cruel world of Dementia leaving us to mourn the man we once knew and lastly, my marriage ended. The last 14 months have been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least. It’s like the earth opened up and swallowed my life as I knew it.

Jessica Bruno in a New England field with cows, Fall New England landscape

I can remember last year after we purchased our new home, sitting in my living room and saying to myself, “what the hell happened and how did I end up here!?” Have you ever done that? Wondered how things could change so quickly?  You may remember my parents sold my childhood home last February and we all purchased our new home below less than a half mile down the street from our old house. If you are new here, you can see our new home series to catch up.

New England fall landscape, leaves turning color, green grass, mediterranean home

Surviving Divorce – what happened

I know many of you are wondering, “Jess, what happened?”

For those of you who are/have been married with kids or no kids, you know that relationships are hard work and that it takes two people willing to put in consistent effort. Relationships are not easy whether you are married not.  We decided that parting as friends in an effort to successfully co-parent was the best scenario possible moving forward.

Fast Forward to September 2020 – I got engaged to the best man ever!!! Read more …. 

Jessica Bruno Four Generations One Roof inside swing with wood seat and rope

Surviving death, divorce and dementia

The blog will continue to be G rated and you will never find negativity here about my marriage. In fact, I will continue to keep my personal life as it relates to relationships, private.  I will however be sharing how I dealt with my emotions of my marriage ending, the sudden changes with my grandparents, tips and tricks to wrap your mind around moving forward (living a balanced lifestyle) along with the importance of personal growth. 

The last 7 years I have been passionate about sharing my unique living arrangement, teaching others how to DIY renovate, create a designer friendly home on a budget and now, I will expand on that sharing what I have learned about how your health plays a huge role in your mindset and ability to persevere. I am considering starting a new blog but may keep everything here on Four Generations One Roof. I am still up in the air on that.

cable knit sweater + booties

Updated March 2019 – Home Projects inspired to move onward and upward!:  The Lady Loft project is in full swing. What do you do when you are in your 40’s and your marriage ends? I decided ripping apart more rooms and renovating was a must! Updated: My DIY mint green master bedroom budget makeover is finally complete!

I have so many great things to share with you about growth, my new outlook and some amazing new opportunities. It’s a pretty crazy thing when your life shifts dramatically. By embracing the change and having an open mind, I have met some amazing new people and developed some great friendships.  On another note, be sure to follow me on Instagram (stories) and my personal Facebook page (if you friend me, send me a note you are a blog reader) where I have been sharing real life – raw moments and day to day “stuff!”

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Cynthia C Spurlock says:

    Being so positive in your new reality shows that you are strong. Focusing on now and letting tomorrow take care of itself is hard but again you are strong! You are managing. You are surviving. You are taking care of yourself. You are amazing! God Bless!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Love you and your family. Please continue your DIY projects I learn so much from them.

  3. Ah, Jess, I’m so sorry to hear of your divorce. Happy to hear you are working through it in healthy ways. Been through it. Wishing you all the best!

  4. Great post my friend! It’s been a tough year for you! But it has pushed you to reveal the many strengths you have and the new outlook of life that you have! Love you so much!!????????????

  5. Jessica, I’m so very sorry to hear about your divorce. I never picked up on anything wrong the last year, but I know you’ve moved and your grandfather was getting worse. It’s such a hard thing to go through no matter the reasons and I wish you the very best on your new journey as a single lady. I know you’re strong and will do fine ! Hugs friend!

  6. I’m so proud of you for being able to finally hit the publish button! You know how amazing I think you are. I am confident that you will grow and find peace and even more strength as you conquer this difficult season of life. Love you girl!

  7. Therese Feeman says:

    Proud of you for being so open, honest… and hitting publish! I know all of the goodness you exude and grow in others will come back to you many, many times over. Stay strong, my friend.
    You got this!!

  8. Sorry to see this news although it looks like you have pushed through to create a new normal. Stay strong and most importantly be happy

  9. Jessica, I enjoy your blog, I enjoy your story. Every good story has struggles and triumphs. You are talented, grounded & tenacious, those traits will serve you well as you navigate new territory. All the best to you and your family!

  10. You have been through a lot in such a short amount of time, yet you’ve kept your positive attitude and brought joy into all of our lives and your family’s lives. You’re an amazing woman!

  11. Wow Jessica, sorry to hear about your divorce and your grandfather. You sound like you are doing well. I hope you are leaning on friends during this difficult time. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the amazing work.

  12. Gail Martin says:

    I read every word and am still shocked. Firstly, much love and prayers to you and everyone in your family. My friends say that I deserve a medal for my outlook and patience with my ex-husband. From the beginning, I wanted there to be normalcy in my children’s lives. Pray, hold your babies tight, give love and receive love, don’t take advice from friends that have never walked in your shoes… even if they are your best friend, keep a journal of your feelings. And mostly….. be good to yourself. I’ve been divorced for 17 years. Again, much love

  13. Janis Jones says:

    Dear Jessica,
    I understand your pain, and mine is similar. On Dec. 9, 2009, my father had a massive hemorrhagic stroke. It took him 8 months but he came home. It was a lot of work to get him to a fairly decent functioning state, about 5 years, where he could speak clear enough and be more present . In 2016, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she passed away in July of 2017. And the worst days of my life started on January 25th, 2018, when my dad passed away. It’s taken me 1 year to nearly fully recover, it’s harder than what’s expected. I have to put my life back together, and I get a little lost, what do you do with your life if all you’ve ever done was for someone else. Looking back on my life, I guess I was always my parents’ caregiver in some form, as a child, you’re there to make their life more well rounded and hopeful, you both grew through the teen years, and try to grow into decent friends as adults. No one ever plans on troubled times, or bad health, none the less death. But with life, we’re always moving forward, so I understand the hardships , but you only grow from them, and you sometimes count the tears. One foot before the other, and they’re all baby steps until we get to where we’re going. Maybe I need a compass .

  14. I’m really sorry to hear this, but I’ll be praying for your family as you move forward. I know it means a lot to you and your son to be with your parents, especially during this time. May God bless you and give you peace.

  15. Jessica I am so sorry for all you have been going through! Life is full of unexpected twists and turns isn’t it? I love your positivity and wish you love and light in this new chapter.

  16. Wish I was there to give you a big hug! We never know what curve ball life is going to throw at us. But when things get rough you hope you have the will to fight as opposed to sinking into an abyss. Sounds like you’ve been able to find positive ways to cope and I know your story will help so many other people! Thank you for sharing part of yourself with all of us!

  17. Thanks for this transparency. **Huggss** to all.

  18. I have followed your blog for a few years now and I am about 20 years older than you ! Glad you parted as so called friends for the sake of your kids ! Great job ! You will find love again my dear ! You are a great hearted , loving ! Caring person and God has a plan for you Jessica , Hold on to yourself ! I too lost my mother to Alzheimer’s ! She turned into a stranger ! Keep love and peace in your heart! It will get better , Cindy

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am doing great 🙂 I am sorry to hear about your mom. ALZ and Dementia are the cruelest diseases and the emotional toll on the family is really hard to deal with at times. I keep waiting for my grandfather to no know me, I know that day is coming :(.

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