Carol Rottman ’60 did not intend to publish a book about the journey she took with her husband, Fritz, into what she calls the “murky world of dementia.” But as a writer, chronicling the stories and steps along the way was a natural method for her to keep her own sense of direction, even as that was slipping away for Fritz.
Thus was born A Memoir of Parting (Principia Media, 2016), which became available in March.
“As changes upset our daily lives and our relationship, I tried to express them in words,” she writes. “This book is a string of personal essays marking travels—not to the exciting places we used to visit, but a more pedestrian path leading to the end of the road.”
The book is in three parts: dementia, terminal cancer and grieving. Only the last part was written after Fritz’s death; the rest were written while the Rottmans lived through the events and experiences.
She does not hide her wonder and worry in the pages of the book. She is direct and specific; she is also poetic and reflective. Rottman hopes the book will be helpful for people with Alzheimer’s patients in their families and also for caregivers of persons with any long-term illness.