A bereaved husband has penned a book to his wife of 43 years, a much loved charity worker, in the hope of helping others with their grief.
Entitled Rembering Christine, the book commemorates the life of Christine Ward, known by the many war veterans, the elderly and the under-privileged she helped during her years in Oakham.
Written by her journalist husband Barry, the book tells of Christine’s life but centres upon the cause and consequences of her death, in January 2015, of complications associated with chemotherapy treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Initially conceived as a legacy of Christine’s life and as a memento for future generations, the book evolved into a study of bereavement at the suggestion of a local counsellor who helped Barry in the months following his wife’s sudden death.
“Until it happened to me, I hadn’t experienced the depth of anguish that comes with the sudden loss of a loved one,” Barry said.
“But it became obvious that such sudden deaths bring grief on an unimaginable scale to thousands of people every hour of every day and yet it’s a malaise that few can talk about, much less help to alleviate.”
Barry interviewed people who had also suffered loss in the hope of bringing comfort to people in similar situations.
Barry added: “In writing the book I believe I found a way to alleviate the pain of such anguish. I discovered that talking it out is vital, preferably with a counsellor, but distractions are also most important: jotting notes about the loss, starting a new hobby, reading, some travel and any form of group therapy, such as night classes or sport.
“Eventually, the grief descends into a sad mourning that becomes manageable.
“Not an hour goes by without my thinking of Christine. But now, much sooner than I ever thought possible thanks to the book, the thoughts are mainly of the happy memories of the life we shared.
“My hope is that the book will keep her memory alive to all those who knew and loved her over the years.”
Remembering Christine is available as an e-book and as a paperback via www.amazon.co.uk.