A Glowing Review

Last week, I told you that my friend Jill Grey was due to speak at Writers Aloud, telling us of her new book about caring for her husband with dementia. Those of you with good memories may also remember that I said to expect a glowing review of the evening in due course. Well, here it is!

I can say without any fear of contradiction that last Wednesday evening at the Goytre Arms pub was one of the best we have ever had – if not actually *the* best. Jill was both entertaining and composed, punctuating the account of publishing her book with personal anecdotes from her life with husband Chris. The reading she chose to illustrate her talk was a perfectly pitched balance of humour and pathos, providing an insight into the struggles of caring for a loved-one, whilst not losing sight of the humour that can be found in such situations. Many folk present noted how well Jill spoke, managing to project her voice to the back of the room without it losing any of its characteristic gentleness.  (A skill which I lack, and to which I certainly aspire.)

After the necessary break to recharge our glasses, a number of the gathered crowd then then had their turn to entertain. The usual eclectic mix of poems and prose arose from the usual eclectic mix of people present, carrying the latter part of the proceedings along with ease. We were also pleased to welcome some new faces to our little band of writers which, along with a good turn out of the ‘usual suspects’, made for a very well attended and enjoyable evening.

I personally had a fabulous time and judging by the words of thanks and positive comments I have had from people since, it would appear that I was not alone in this. It has admittedly set the bar pretty high for the next Writers Aloud evening, in October, so perhaps I shall hand the responsibility for co-ordinating that one to someone else!

Any volunteers…? 😉

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Update on the first guest post

Just over a year ago, Jill Grey helped me to launch this weblog in its initial form. She has now published a book called ‘After the Rehearsal’ which charts the ups and downs of her time caring for her husband with dementia.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/After-The-Rehearsal-Living-Dementia-ebook/dp/B00LPKYYV0/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Jill will be guest speaker at the Writers Aloud event tomorrow, https://www.facebook.com/events/586569374785561/
Expect a glowing review (I anticipate it will be glowing) on this blog in due course.

Jill’s original blog post follows:

Telling Stories

I have been asked to write my story for this weblog.

Why me?

Because I am the wife of a man who had Dementia. Dementia is easy to say and easy to write but not so easy to understand.

‘Why me?’ is a very good question.

When Chris was first diagnosed there was no magical clap of thunder that turned him from one sort of person into another. There was no particular moment telling me that this day or that week was the start of the disease. But like the constant ebb and flow of sea on rocks it had continued to erode his memory.

In the early years, there were things he gradually became incapable of doing but on the other hand there was still plenty he could do, so life, while being rather strange, was still fairly normal. His changes were so gradual that I found I was…

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For Carers Week: 10th-16th June.

I have been asked to write my story for this weblog.

Why me?

Because I am the wife of a man who had Dementia. Dementia is easy to say and easy to write but not so easy to understand.

‘Why me?’ is a very good question.

When Chris was first diagnosed there was no magical clap of thunder that turned him from one sort of person into another. There was no particular moment telling me that this day or that week was the start of the disease. But like the constant ebb and flow of sea on rocks it had continued to erode his memory.

In the early years, there were things he gradually became incapable of doing but on the other hand there was still plenty he could do, so life, while being rather strange, was still fairly normal. His changes were so gradual that I found I was learning to deal with them as they came along.

What I didn’t have, for a long time, was any real back up. It was only after coming across a support group called ‘Solace’ that I found real help and advice. I found kindred spirits and fantastic volunteer helpers who has already made this journey and knew exactly what I was trying to cope with.

I do recommend that you find out about and make use of similar groups in your area. No matter how supportive friends and family may be, there is nothing like the relief and reassurance you feel when you are in the company of people who know just how things are – even when you haven’t told them.

If you would like to know more about me and my journey, as well as find additional support, please visit ‘Dementia Carers Problems Shared’ website, http://www.dementiacarers.com. I would be very happy to welcome you there.

God bless,

Jill Grey, Cardiff