Profoundly beautiful stories of love and loss poured into the campaign website as Before We forget grew. But even as the internet affords the luxury of publishing at almost no cost, it deprives these stories from forming a whole and reduces them to moments. Arranged chronologically, these stories cannot build upon each other in a narrative. They remain inchoate.
By selecting, editing, and arranging these stories in the company of previously unpublished material, I wish to provide a complete emotional journey.
This book is not intended only for the caregiver of a person with dementia. It is too published for anyone who has cared for a loved one with a chronic terminal illness, or anyone who has struggled with matters concerning filial piety, memory, and death.
I hope that even if you know nothing about dementia or terminal illnesses, reading this book will help you understand the emotional intricacies of caregiving and be able to contemplate upon existen- tial issues of identity and mortality — not just your own but also of the people closest to you.
If you are a caregiver, I hope these stories will comfort you and embolden you to speak of your own experiences so that dementia becomes less of a shameful thing to society. If you do not yet feel prepared, this book exists as a form of testimony that you can share with your peers.
The stories in this book are most suitably read in order, cover to cover, but they are structured in a way that it is acceptable to start anywhere.
Like the documentary, this book is designed to permit the ease of reading yet its design remains unobtrusive. This book is a collection of windows that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of others. This must not be blemished with frivolous design. Such opportunity should instead be cherished.