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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Reflections on her mother’s dementia were inspired while reading the ‘Anna Chaplaincy Handbook’

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Round table discussions at the gathering on 2 February 2023.

Anna Chaplain Janet Day told the story of composing the following poem when she was among dozens gathered for a workshop and special Candlemas service at Portsmouth Cathedral in early February.

As we considered life for those with dementia – and their carers – and how we can lend better support, Janet Day read out ‘The tree is bare’.

‘I was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain at an amazing service at Church of The Holy Spirit Church, Southsea, on Sunday 12 March and am now officially Anna Chaplain to the Home of Comfort, Southsea,’ explains Janet.

‘It was whilst reading the Anna Chaplaincy Handbook for the course that I was inspired, stopped reading… and wrote the poem.’

The tree is bare

Dementia is like: the changing leaves on a tree

Firstly in autumn, our mind changes, as leaves in the tree.

The leaves colour, the mind changes it clouds over – all changing –

Winter approaches, it gets colder, we are more isolated.

The leaves begin to fall off the tree and our minds cloud over even more

Winter, the dead of winter, the tree is bare.

No more leaves, our minds are bare.

No more thoughts, we are alone, isolated, the tree is bare.

Copyright Janet Day 2023

Janet Day (front row centre) with Anna Chaplaincy colleagues at Portsmouth Cathedral earlier this year.




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