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Memorable Loss: A Story of Friendship in the Face of Dementia (Martin)

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Christian Focus

Dementia is experienced in different forms, in different ways and is coped with differently by different people, but with nearly 10 million new cases every year, it is something many people face. It’s tough on those with the disease, but it is also incredibly hard for the loved ones around them.

Karen Martin’s story about her friend Kathleen, however, is overwhelmingly one of love and persistence. Despite their nearly half–century age difference, their commonality drew them to each other, and their genuine friendship uplifted them both.

Charting the story from pre–diagnosis to Kathleen’s eventual passing, this moving tale highlights the difficulties and joys of facing dementia, through the lens of friendship


Karen began writing in earnest after winning the Henley Literary Festival prize for a short story whose central character was living with Alzheimer’s. She went on to achieve a distinction in her Writing MA at Warwick University where the seeds of this book were sown. Karen has recently returned to her roots in the Cotswolds following thirty–years in Maidenhead.


Are we more than our memories? Karen Martin shares her journey to focus on a person, not a disease; a loved one living with memory loss, not a dementia victim; and a friend’s present and future, not just her fading memories. This book will be a fount of wisdom for anyone who cares for a friend with dementia. -Dave Deuel, Senior Research Fellow, the International Disability Center; Catalyst for Disability Concerns, the Lausanne Movement; co–author, ‘Disability in Mission: The Church’s Hidden Treasure’

… I couldn’t help thinking as I read that what Karen and Kathleen experienced was a gift from God to them both but also to all who can eavesdrop through Karen’s account. … a profound meditation on memory and personhood, human identity and Christian discipleship. I’m delighted to see that this book has finally made it into print. -Mark Meynell, European Associate Director, Langham Preaching, London