Memoir Writing Groups
My response to Covid-19
When Covid-19 hit, my once full calendar went blank. The activities I did that were fun, social, and stimulating came to a screeching halt. Looking at how this devastation was hitting everyone, I wondered how I could do something, while staying at home, that would make an immediate difference in the lives of others. I longed for creative, social and intellectual stimulation. The voice of my inner teacher gave me an idea that would meet all those needs.
I had been introduced to memoir writing when my mother participated in a memoir class prior to her walk into dementia. I cherish the stories she wrote, and she found comfort in them when she could no longer remember the details of her own life.
Sharing life stories seemed like a perfect way to navigate life in the pandemic. Using Facebook as a platform, I advertised my interest in starting and leading a memoir sharing group and the group was established.
The group evolved into an intimate space for folks to share their stories and experience joy and connection in a time of isolation and anxiety. After several months, I learned about the Virtual Community Center at Age Friendly Rhode Island. I offered to started a second group specifically to serve the elder community here in Rhode Island. That group followed the same model and its members, several of whom are octagenarians, have found the stimulation and connections a lifeline during this difficult time.
I continued to lead the first memoir group for 52 weeks. Then, in anticipation of my cross country move, I passed the baton to the group members who continue meeting to this day.