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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Lessons in loss

The new book is starting to just take shape. If I were modelling clay, I would say I am at the stage where it has been thrown – a wet, soggy mess – onto the potter’s wheel, and I am just running my hands tentatively over it, trying to decide exactly what form it will take. It will be a while before it resembles anything beautiful. I have been honoured to have some beautiful experiences shared with me, though, in the name of research. I’m not giving away any spoilers to let you know that my new book starts with the main character struggling to come to terms with the death of her child. Keen to explore the reality of this, the unimaginable impact it has, how on earth people start to recover from such loss, and the toll it can take on relationships, I’ve been talking to people who have experienced it for real. I’m stunned and humbled by their bravery and raw honesty, and overwhelmed that, as well as the pain, they have shared some precious and beautiful memories of happier times. Loss seems to have been the theme of the week for so many other people, too. On Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, we remembered the fallen. Then on Friday 13th there was the terrible loss of life in Paris. So today I’m wishing you not just a happy week, but a peace-filled one. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be hugging my loved ones that little bit tighter, and thanking my lucky stars we are together.

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