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New book aims to raise money for Grief Support Services

Grief Support Services board member Dawn Picken is launching a new book she hopes will help other people encountering grief and loss while raising money for GSS.

Just in time for the holidays, Love, Loss and Lifelines: My year of grief on the run acknowledges the fact not all of us are dancing in the magic of the season.

People who have faced the death of someone close to them often experience painful reminders of their loved ones during the silly season, when it seems everyone else is merry and bright, says Papamoa author and columnist Dawn Picken.

“It doesn’t matter whether your person died last year, a decade ago or more - you’re still living into a future without someone special. It can be especially tough during the holidays, when the emphasis is on celebration, rather than remembrance,” says Dawn.

Love, Loss and Lifelines follows Dawn and her two small children through a medical catastrophe, as her husband lands in hospital with a mystery illness later diagnosed as necrotising fasciitis (aka flesh-eating bacteria). A colossus of afflictions follows: sepsis, a punctured lung and a large pancreatic mass. Sean died after four and–a-half months in hospital.

Dawn, a former US television presenter and reporter, received support from people in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, who held fundraisers and helped her family prepare for a world tour that ultimately ended in the Bay of Plenty.

Once here, Dawn connected with Tauranga-based Grief Support Services (GSS), which provides subsidised counselling for anyone suffering grief and loss:

She joined the GSS board in 2018 and is donating a portion of New Zealand sales of her book to the organisation. “Grief Support Services was invaluable for me when I needed counselling, and I want to recognise the important work they do.”

Love, Loss and Lifelines will be for sale at select local retailers, Amazon, Apple Books and through starting November 2.

A launch party at the downtown Tauranga Library (21 Devonport Road) happens on November 3 at 6 pm. Signed copies will be for sale, and free refreshments will be provided.

A link to the book’s first chapter is here:

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