Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
These literary events provide a wonderful opportunity for family members to meet various authors of picture books, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, short fiction and novels; whether they are for children, young people and/or adults of all ages.
Jackie Barreau has published a collection of poems, quotations and photographs, published out of inspiration for the many bereaved parents and their terminally ill children.
Her book is dedicated to the memory of her two sons, Cody (stillborn at 26 weeks) and Luke (13 months, diagnosed with Neuroblastoma), who passed away, and more recently Tayla, her eldest daughter has been diagnosed with a rare genetic form of cancer in children.
Jackie and her husband, David, have "weathered the storm; life continues to throw us many challenges…still." But with the love and support they have for each other, they continue to keep their marriage together, where many others break up. She was able to come to terms with her losses through producing this book. Some of the poems are hers, some by well-known poets like Maya Angelou and Kahlil Gibran, while some are anonymous; they all share a common ground of being poems of love, loss and moving forward.
The poems are interspersed with beautiful illustrations of stems with red hearts bearing Jackie's sons' initials. The illustrations are by Claudiu Badea, while the photographs of peaceful scenes around Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula are by SD Smart.
Poetry like grief is a very personal experience; some poems and quotations I related to more, than others. Sometimes they reveal dark overtones of depression and are very real and honest; the bare simple language convey Jackie's heartfelt deep emotions and experiences:
Almost a million tears I have cried as I keep asking myself why did you have to die. Another birthday slips by
and I wish you were here by my side. Jackie Barreau
This inner war rages
like so many pages.
Grief is working through stages
But I feel I 'm trapped in a cage. Jackie Barreau
Time may heal, but the grief never leaves – anonymous
My grief rages.
It's a fire within.
I need to find my courage
so that I can begin. Jackie Barreau
Other poems inspire other parents and other children to seek hope and encouragement:
Hope inspires and encourages
but above all creates a feeling of self-belief. Jackie Barreau
Never underestimate the power
of the human spirit.
The way back is the way forward.
With true clarity, courage and strength
We can overcome any obstacle. Jackie Barreau
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. Kahlil Gibran
I close my eyes
and open my heart.
It's time to live for now; Jackie Barreau
It was Jackie's way of dealing with the death of her two sons, through poetry.
Her book was created for her healing, no one else actually needs to understand it, but I'm sure many will. People who have been in this circumstance would totally get this. She is not looking for others to mourn her losses, but she offers other parents and children hope and encouragement.
The presentation of the artwork and photographs is very interpretive and more for her than anyone else, and that again would be her healing. I like its simplicity, which gives the reader room for their own understanding, of what the images would mean to them,
I feel this is the kind of book that you may initially examine from beginning to end, but later, may seek a particular poem for comfort or direction. It is attractively presented and would be a suitable gift and therapy for parents experiencing the loss of a child.
The book is available for $19.99 from these bookshops: