Grief book set to aid hos­pice

Herald Express - - Down your Way -

ROWCROFT Hos­pice sup­porter Tom Wool­ner, who turned to writ­ing af­ter the death of his wife, will be do­nat­ing all the prof­its from his self-pub­lished book to the Torquay hos­pice.

Tom, 49 and from Teign­mouth, felt a spe­cial need to give back to Rowcroft af­ter his wife Kather­ine was cared for there in her fi­nal days.

He has shared his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence and jour­ney through grief in the book Let’s Talk About Grief & Loss: A dis­cus­sion of the as­pects com­monly ex­pe­ri­enced yet rarely dis­cussed.

He said: “Rowcroft Hos­pice In­pa­tient Unit staff, Hos­pice at Home and the Com­mu­nity Team pro­vided a be­spoke pack­age of care in a friendly and un­der­stand­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

“With sig­nif­i­cant ef­fort they en­abled my wife to end her fi­nal days at home as was her wish, sur­rounded by her lov­ing fam­ily, in peace with dig­nity. That was some­thing very spe­cial in­deed and to ‘give back’ to them was not a dif­fi­cult choice for me. To help in any small way pos­si­ble to en­able them to con­tinue their amaz­ing work and as­sist oth­ers was a sim­ple de­ci­sion.”

Tom’s own ex­pe­ri­ence of grief and loss was the mo­ti­vat­ing force be­hind his book.

He went on: “I read a lot af­ter los­ing my wife. I guess I was look­ing for an­swers and I found a shared pain and ex­pe­ri­ences as­so­ci­ated with grief. I was not alone.

“What I read, and what I dis­cov­ered talk­ing to oth­ers, helped me to nor­malise the ex­pe­ri­ence and whilst this didn’t change what had hap­pened or re­duce the pain in any way, it did bring some com­fort.

“I wanted to share this with oth­ers and hence why I wrote my book.

“It is im­por­tant to recog­nise that the book is not a road map to grief. cap­tion here

“My book draws on my own ex­pe­ri­ence of grief and loss whilst ref­er­enc­ing or quot­ing things I found re­ally help­ful and wanted to share.

“If I can help oth­ers suf­fer­ing a loss, in any

Tom Wool­ner and Mark Hawkins from Rowcroft small way, then I will feel a great sense of achieve­ment. If they are then able to pass that help on to oth­ers then, well, what a won­der­ful thing.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence of grief is so rarely dis­cussed, we just don’t want to go there or, feel too un­com­fort­able do­ing so thus leav­ing peo­ple feel­ing iso­lated and lonely at what was al­ready a very trau­matic time. My book aims to ad­dress this.

“Rowcroft is a spe­cial char­ity to me be­cause very few ser­vices lo­cally are able to pro­vide light at a very dark time in the way they did. Rowcroft re­spects and un­der­stands in­di­vid­ual needs and treats peo­ple with dig­nity, not a pa­tient or a num­ber but as a per­son.

“They felt like a fam­ily to me. The needs of all con­cerned are con­sid­ered in­clud­ing the part­ner and fam­ily mem­bers and this is im­por­tant. With­out them it would not have been pos­si­ble to meet my wife’s fi­nal wishes. You can­not place a price on that and this will re­main with me for­ever.”

All prof­its from the book will be go­ing to sup­port Rowcroft Hos­pice con­tinue its work. The book can be pur­chased at www.griefand­

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