What is in the tunnel?


Yes! the image heading up today’s blog is uncharacteristically urban, I know.   But there is a good reason for it … last night I attended my first ever book launch near Waterloo station, in a venue just off what is known as the ‘Graffiti tunnel’ which really is just that!

Author Annie Broadbent very kindly invited me to attend the introduction of                                   “We Need to Talk about Grief”, written following the loss of her mother to cancer.

Annie was just twenty five when her mum Caroline died.

Annie and I were put in (electronic) touch earlier this year, through her agent who ‘thought we might get on’ … and so it proved. In Annie I recognise a kindred writing spirit. Though we approach grief from entirely different angles, we share the desire to strip away the inhibitions and taboos surrounding the business of death and dying, and we write in a similar way, sharing deep emotions; and ultimately offering the message of positivity and hope for the future.

Annie’s speech was moving and expressive and I guess she feels the same sense of elation that I did when my book was published, albeit regretting the reason for writing it in the first place..

How refreshing it was last night! – to be in the company of people who did not flinch, look uncomfortable or try to change the subject when I said the words,”My son James died”.

As one lady said to me, “There will be a lot of talk of death and dying tonight; there are plenty of experts here”, but the atmosphere was not dark and dismal, rather there was much compassion, empathy, sharing and laughter.

I feel privileged to have met and mingled briefly with these lovely people.

Annie herself is a vibrant, warm girl and her mother was obviously held in high regard. I formed an impression of a warm and charming woman with more than a hint of mischief about her. I was reminded of my dear mum … was it just coincidence that the date of this event fell on the 13th anniversary of my own mum’s passing? I wonder…..

Annie says of her book, “this is a book filled with personal experiences which are designed to open up a conversation” which fits beautifully with the title and I agree wholeheartedly with the need for a more open attitude towards bereavement. I am certain that this book will help many people living with the loss of their loved ones.

Thank you Annie, for inviting me to share in such a special moment in your life.


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