Pauline Roberts has penned her first published book. It’s a tribute to her late son and a guide to help others find joy in their life after a loss.
Called Whole Hearted Grief, the book is a candid reflection of her own journey and painful loss, but also offers advice and helpful practices to come out the other side.
The author, who has a background as a grief and loss counsellor, is now a coach and mentor, and has always enjoyed writing.
“Writing and painting are my happy places.
“I write poetry, fiction and keep journals and I’ve always wanted to have a book published.”
She was encouraged on the book journey by fellow Ashburton Writers Group member Stacey Broadbent and the inspiration for her book is her son’s tragic death three years ago.
The book was written full time in just three months and has been a form of therapy for Pauline.
The white heron on the front cover is from one of her own paintings and a symbol she believes brings her closer to the spirit world.
“There is no road map to grief, but grief will walk beside you while you follow yourself home, in your own time and in your own way,” said Pauline.
Her late son Adam was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease at aged 14, but had been full of the joys of life and living happily in Christchurch when he died in a horrific burn accident in 2017.
He was just 29 and his death left a big void in Pauline’s life, and in the lives of others who knew him.
“Everyone suffers grief in their life and getting through it can be very tough.
“I didn’t want to just tell another tragic story. My aim with the book is to share my experiences and emotions in a way that reminds people that there is joy still to come in life after loss.”
Feedback from those who have read the book has been very positive and the first print run has sold out.
Pauline said her mother and sister had both lost sons, one had been 18 and the other 24.
“Mum told told me that if she had the read the book 40 years ago it would have helped her deal better with the loss of her son.”
Grief was unstoppable and moving through it took time and effort.
Her advice to others is take one small step at a time “in the direction of reclaiming joy”.
Wholehearted Grief by Pauline Roberts is available through the author’s Facebook page.
-By Mick Jensen