The West

Memoirs written for dementia gran
Memoirs written for dementia gran

A 96-year-old woman robbed of the chance to write her own autobiography has had heartbreaking story published by her granddaughter.

Mollie Cooke, who is from Shropshire in England, had always wanted to write a book about her life but developed from dementia and died before she was able to tell her story.

Her granddaughter Katherine Lee told the Daily Mail she didn't want her grandmother's stories to "disappear into the pile" so wrote 'From Dust to Dust and a Lifetime in Between' about her life.

Written in the first person, the book recalls heartbreaking and tragic events in her life, including losing two husbands and her experiences during both world wars.

Her first husband Jack died while clearing landmines in Belgium in 1946.

The book described the moment she received the news of his death.

"Wide-eyed and open mouthed, I listen to the officers' statement. In reality though, I'm still at their first sentence "Jack Meredith has fallen," the book reads.

Mollie Cooke's granddaughter is writing down the memories her grandmother has forgotten. Photo: Supplied

The book also goes into detail about her second marriage, death of her adult daughter to breast cancer and death of her second husband just five years later.

"I stroke his forehead, and slide a little closer to him. 'I love you Mollie. I will be waiting for you with our girl. You know that,' he manages, and a single tear runs down the side of his face.

'Inside, my heart is close to breaking," Ms Lee writes in the book.

Ms Lee, who lives in Switzerland, said she hoped the book would allow readers to step into her grandmother's shoes.

"It's an emotional book but that's ok, because it is about love - those are OK emotions to have," she told the Daily Mail.

"It was very difficult for me to relive these things when I was writing the book, but I learnt a lot because I got see it from my grandmother's experience."

Mrs Cooke died in a care home in 2011 after years suffering with dementia.

"Nana always wanted to write her autobiography but dementia made that impossible…I hope she would be very, very proud," Ms Lee said.

The West Australian

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