“We keep an old shoebox, Gill and I, nestled in a drawer in our room. It’s filled with thirty-three birthday cards for our two young sons: one for every year I’ll miss until they’re twenty-one. I wrote them because, since the end of 2017, I’ve been living with – and dying from – motor neurone disease.”
Gill Hammond’s late husband Joe Hammond was a critically acclaimed writer and playwright who became famous in 2018 when he wrote 33 cards for his two young sons for the birthdays he would not live to see. Gill Hammond has a background in teaching psychology, and was a carer to Joe after his diagnosis.
Gill wrote the foreword to the paperback edition of Joe’s critically acclaimed memoir, A Short History of Falling, published earlier this year. She has also written about her experiences of love, grief and loss in Red Magazine and the Guardian, and has been interviewed by BBC Breakfast; BBC One South Today; Daily Mail and Conversations on Love. She lives in Petersfield with her two sons, Tom and Jimmy.
Gill will be in conversation with Dr Lesel Dawson, a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol who specialises in grief, Renaissance literature and the history of the emotions.