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Please Don't — How Can Writing Help Caregivers?

November is both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers’ Month. To commemorate this occasion, every week we will be posting a poem by Frances H. Kakugawa, author of Mosaic Moon and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, titles aimed at helping caregivers and families cope with the stress of caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

On the surface, it's hard to see the connection between writing — much less poetry writing — caregiving and Alzheimer's disease. Frances explains:

What is there when poetry appears on paper, and after? There is the reality of what Alzheimer's disease is and how caregiving forces you and your loved one to live in the center of this disease. In our pursuit of using writing to understand this disease, our loved ones, and ourselves, the reality of what this disease does is not forgotten nor swept under the art of poetry or song.  It forces us, along with our loved ones, to reinvent ourselves and to continuously examine what it is that we are inventing and for whom.

In "Please Don't" (from Mosaic Moon), Frances acknowledges the fear that Alzheimer's brought into her home.