Book another step towards healing

A COMPILATION book of short stories and poems about being alone was launched as part of a Palliative Care Week luncheon in Stroud last week.

Gloucester residents Carmel Fryer, Molly Stevens, Johanna Heyink, Barbara Mansfield, Doris Gilkerson, Jean Taylor, Kate Whiffen, Ann Singh and Erica Cushway.

Gloucester residents Carmel Fryer, Molly Stevens, Johanna Heyink, Barbara Mansfield, Doris Gilkerson, Jean Taylor, Kate Whiffen, Ann Singh and Erica Cushway.

Members of the Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group Bev Green, Diana Rosenbaum, Denise Reilly and Betty Pearson.

Members of the Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group Bev Green, Diana Rosenbaum, Denise Reilly and Betty Pearson.

Members of the Stroud Writers Group Bill Merchant, Maudie Rutherford, John Potts, Sharon Burke, Greg Wirt, Di Foster, Peter Uren, Elizabeth Bradhurst and Sue Filson.

Members of the Stroud Writers Group Bill Merchant, Maudie Rutherford, John Potts, Sharon Burke, Greg Wirt, Di Foster, Peter Uren, Elizabeth Bradhurst and Sue Filson.

Writers, editors and organisers of the book Stories of Aloneness Rex Filson, Sherry Stumm, Sue Filson, Anne Davis and Rob Crombie.

Writers, editors and organisers of the book Stories of Aloneness Rex Filson, Sherry Stumm, Sue Filson, Anne Davis and Rob Crombie.

Karen Rudge, Peter Lindwall, Judy Aird and Jo Bevan at the luncheon.

Karen Rudge, Peter Lindwall, Judy Aird and Jo Bevan at the luncheon.

An initiative of the Lower Mid-North Coast Palliative Care bereavement groups, contributors reflect on personal moments of tragedy, loss and sadness.

The book was compiled and edited by Susan Filson and Sherry Stumm and involves stories from many people in the Gloucester and Stroud valleys.

“These are our stories, collective attempts to render meaning in our world that is forever changed,” the ladies said.

The support team included Rex Filson, Dianne Foster and Rob Crombie with illustrators Judith Conning, Robert Crombie, Rex Filson and Karen Rudge.

After 50 years of being together, Gloucester resident Molly Stevens’ husband died after a long battle with cancer.

“We had mutual friends, made all decisions together and when he was diagnosed with cancer, it seemed right that I cared for him,” she said in the book.

“Therefore we still could share everything through his long battle and when it was over, the vacuum he left was immense. For the next year or so, through all the numbness, I was still very much alone.

“Then our palliative care team started Chums, a bereavement group in Gloucester.

“I reluctantly followed my children’s advice to ‘just go once and see how it is’.

“That first meeting changed my life for the better and over the last few years the group has grown and I have met the most wonderful, caring and supportive friends who have been my saviour.”

“It isn’t easy to break free of negative ‘aloneness’ but with a lot of effort, the support of family and friends, it can be turned into a positive.”

For more information about the book contact Rob Crombie on 6592 9661.

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