Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“I Remember”–workshop exercise and group poem for Giving Sorrow Words

At the Spring 2007 Integrating Spirit and Caregiving Conference I just attended the "I Remember" exercise was the centerpiece of my Give Sorrow Words workshop. Participants grouped at tables around newsprint created a life story for a woman who has dementia. Each table wrote from a different perspective/role/voice.

·The woman herself (the patient)
·Her husband
·Her daughter
·A school friend, visiting
·Her nurse
·The woman’s mother (who may or may not be alive)

I set up the newsprint so that “I remember” was at the center of the page and the individual lines were contained in the cluster bubbles around this central phrase. I said, “We do not know this woman in real life, but we do know her through the people whom we’ve known and whom we’ve been. This is an exercise to create an imaginary life story for her—to remember for her now that she no longer remembers herself.” --JGR

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2 Responses »

  1. Hi Janet,
    This is a marvelous exercise! You set it up so well and group clustering is a very dramatic and dynamic process. Wish I'd been there!


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