By Gord Bowes, News staff
Lynda Matthews started writing letters to her husband to help cope with his death.
Two years later, through support she found through other widows and author mentors, she published A Breath Away, a book about the life she shared with Craig, her husband of 26 years.
The book chronicles their life together, Craig’s cancer diagnosis, his stay at the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice and how she has coped since Craig’s death.
Matthews started writing letters to her late husband in the days after the funeral.
“I just poured my heart out,” she recalls.
While writing those letters and keeping a personal journal helped, Matthews was also getting depressed as the first winter without Craig neared.
“So many times in the first part (of writing) I would put my head down and cry,” she says.
She sought help from the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice, which has a number of groups for survivors. While talking to members of the Healing Steps walking group, she understood she was not alone in her feelings.
It helps to talk, says Jane Redmond of the hospice.
“When you hear someone else who has gone through the same experience, it helps,” says Redmond.
During that time, Matthews was also encouraged to write a book. A year later she was asking advice from established authors.
She released the self-published memoir in September 2012.
“I was a secretary all my life,” says Lynda. “I didn’t think I would ever write a book.”
Matthews will be holding a book signing at the Chapters store in the Meadowlands shopping complex on May 3 from 1-4 p.m. A Breath Away can also be purchased through Amazon or at her website, lyndamatthews.com.