New book to help people deal with bereavement

Iris Sparkes, who has written a book on bereavement, pictured with senior chaplin Mike Reeder from St Luke's Hospice
Iris Sparkes, who has written a book on bereavement, pictured with senior chaplin Mike Reeder from St Luke's Hospice

When her second husband died, Iris Sparkes began a personal journey, a journey of how to cope on her own and how to move forward with her life.

As part of this process, the 79-year-old who lives in Bamford, began to write a book about bereavement which she is now selling to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice.

Former headteacher Iris explained how she began to put pen to paper: “Two years ago I was asked to join a group of professional people to look at the needs of elderly people and how we can help and resource this group in the church and wider community.

“The usual ailments associated with old age were mentioned such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart and lung condition, the list was endless. At the close of the meeting I was left feeling very low and angry as there had been no mention of, what I call, active older people. I certainly was not going to just sit back and grow old. I began to think of my own circumstances, living on my own how do I cope?

“I started to make lists under various headings such as health, mental well being, and safety in the home etc. Gradually the idea of writing a book began to take shape, I had previously written a book about remarriage and retirement.

“The book, and I must say that these are my personal reflections, began to take shape.”

She continued: “Writing this small book has helped me after the death of my husband to come to terms with my loss and living on my own.”

Iris, who took over her late husband Rev Don Sparkes’ role writing The Star’s regular Thought for the Week column, is a congregation member at Sheffield Cathedral where the book, called The Last Lap, has been warmly received.

She said: “A lot of people said they have found it helpful and said it encouraged them. It’s selling very well and although it’s a Christian book from a Christian perspective I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from all sorts of people.

“I have tried to write the book with a little humour.”

The Last Lap is now available to order from Iris on 01433 659280.