Documenting Her Dementia in a Blog

Monday morning while getting dressed for work I was watching the Today Show and a feature story by Maria Shriver caught my attention.  It was an interview with a woman named Gerda Saunders and her family.


Gerda Saunders on the Today Show


Mrs. Saunders is a loving wife, mother, grandmother and the author of the newly released book, Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia in which she chronicled adventures in her life after a diagnosis of dementia at the age of 61.



According to the website:

Based on the “field notes” she keeps in her journal, Memory’s Last Breath is Saunders’ astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders nonetheless embarks on a personal investigation of the brain and its mysteries, examining science and literature, and immersing herself in vivid memories of her childhood in South Africa.




What caught my attention wasn’t the fact that she has dementia, which is a disease that according to statistics one in nine Americans will be affected by.  What caught my attention was the fact that she chose to journal and blog about her life before she totally loses her memory.


That journal is now a book so once her memory fades and she is no longer mentally or physically with her family, they will always have a part of her, keeping her spirit alive for all eternity.


You can read more about the Today Show interview with Maria Shriver and learn more about the life and love of Gerda, however, I just wanted to say, that leaving a legacy with a blog is perhaps one of the most generous gifts she can give to her family.


Please don’t let a diagnosis of dementia, cancer or any other ailment or disease be the catalyst for starting a blog; let leaving memories of family fun, friends, inspiration, education, love, and joy be some of the motivating factors in which to do so.


No matter what you say about Social Media, good bad or ugly; Social Media has given us all an opportunity to document and chronicle parts of our lives that will last forever…a gift for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


If you are interested in learning how to build a blog or need help improving a current blog, please head over to my website, to learn more.  If you live in Delaware, make sure to sign up for the 3 part Build A Blog Workshop series that I will be teaching at Delaware Technical Community College starting in September.


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3 thoughts on “Documenting Her Dementia in a Blog

  1. I cannot even imagine! Sounds very brave of Mrs. Saunders AND her family. Peace and blessings to them all.

    I already know my family will remember my love of coffee, books, and laughter (not necessarily in that order)… and how personally rewarding I found helping others. 😉

  2. Yes, I found her story to be amazing and am truly blessed to have tuned in as I very rarely watch television while getting dressed. I hope my family remembers me as always being positive no matter what is going on in the world around me.

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