Mother’s pain, others’ gain

Wendy Robinson with her book Peace in Grief, which she wrote to help people to support the bereaved.
Wendy Robinson with her book Peace in Grief, which she wrote to help people to support the bereaved.

Three years ago, Wendy Robinson’s son Brock Woolf took his own life at the age of 26.

Ms Robinson said Brock had suffered depression since he was about 18 and later struggled with the realisation that he was transgender.

She said his death rocked the family.

‘I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed with grief,’ she said.

‘Before this happened, I was scared of the word suicide. People just don’t want to hear that word.

‘It is so sad when people cannot see any other way out of their emotional pain.’

The graphic designer of 20 years had a realisation while she was grieving her son’s death that she could use the experience to help or inspire others.

‘I was at the funeral and someone asked if there was anything they could do to help,’ she said.

‘I decided about a year ago to write a book titled Peace in grief: 30 kind tips to support the bereaved with the loss of their loved ones.’

The book aims to inspire loving action and make a difference in the midst of all the heartache. ‘It is for people who know someone who is grieving but are not sure what to do or say,’ she said.

‘My advice would be don’t ask, just do something.’

The book suggests something as simple as delivering flowers in person, writing a message on a balloon or a photograph of the departed as a gift.

Now a qualified counsellor, Ms Robinson said she works with transgender people to better understand their plight.

‘The experience has made me a lot more compassionate and has given me a deeper level of understanding about minority groups,’ she said.

‘By supporting transgender people, I am continuing my support for Brock.’

For a copy of the book, go to tinyurl.com/q5mb3cl. It retails for $9.95.

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