Communion Of Dreams


A kind of unity.
May 17, 2010, 11:56 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Health, Writing stuff

I’ve mentioned working on Her Final Year, getting things transferred and re-organized. That process continues apace, and is going very well.

One of the things which has struck me recently has been seeing something which I hadn’t planned, but I don’t find too surprising: the structure of the book as we have set it up is reflecting the content of the book. Let me explain.

As I noted previously, the book is divided into “months”, each month reflecting a stage of the disease and the impact that it has on both the patient and care-providers. “January” is just the suspicion that there’s something wrong, “February” is detection of actual symptoms of dementia, et cetera. This way we convert the experience that two families had into a generic template which will fit anyone’s experience with the disease and care-giving.

Well, as we’ve gone through and allocated different entries relating to each “month” (entries drawn from blog posts, diary entries and email) there has occurred a striking distribution: just a very few entries in the early months when dementia is only a minor thing, the total rising until September, October, and November. These are the most intense stages of care-giving, the time when it completely occupies your life. Being in the role of care-provider is a labor of love, but it is also emotionally and physically exhausting – just as the number and intensity of the entries in those months shows.

No brilliant insight in this, I realize. But it is just one of those artistic things – a kind of ‘unity’ of design and message – which is very difficult to achieve intentionally, but is elegant when it happens.

Jim Downey


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[…] mentioned working on the care-giving book, and how that is progressing. Right now I’m at the stage […]

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