Nadeem’s Journey details the touching but tragic story of how you lost your son to cancer. When did you make the choice to write Nadeem’s Journey?
During the duration of Nadeem’s illness, I used to take photos of him whenever he was admitted in hospital, be it for chemotherapy or any other health issues. I promised him that I will write a journal about his journey and use those photographs in it, for him when he recovers , unfortunately he did not recover but lost his battle. On his last admission to hospital that was 3 days before he died ,he was in the emergency department and was about to be moved to the ward, he asked me if I’m not taking a photo of him. I was in shock because the doctor had just told me that I could loose my son by that weekend and forgot about the photo, but Nadeem knew how important the photos were to me realise that he wanted me to write the journal.3 years after his death I felt like I didn’t fulfil my promise to him therefore I decided that I will write a book about his journey.
What has been the most surprising reader reaction you’ve received about this book?
I was overwhelmed by the responses that I got from many readers, who not only read Nadeem’s journey but also learnt a lot from it. Not many authors tell you exactly what a person goes through when they have cancer but this book highlighted both the physical and emotional aspects of a person going through treatment. Many readers have also stated that they will not take life for granted and will always trust their instincts. As quoted by an avid reader “One major lesson every reader can take from this book is that no amount of organization can prepare you to deal with loss. It is okay to take forever to mourn your loved one. People find it hard to come into acceptance with death. Sherine’s story is an encouragement to anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer. It is not meant to be easy and the only thing one can do is take one step at a time”
Is there anything that you see different in life now that you’ve written this book?
I do not see anything different in life since I wrote the book but I’m happy that I fulfilled my promise. Nadeem’s legacy will live on forever. I have learnt not to take life for granted, to live each day as if it’s my last and be grateful for each new day I’m here.
Do you have plans to write more books?
I have written another book called The Ultimate Love which is about my journey coping with the loss of my son, the coping skills that I used and help that’s available for those grieving. At the moment I haven’t thought about writing another book.
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The Ultimate Love shares a journey through grief that teaches readers to value life. Why was this an important book to write ?
The sudden death of my 25 year old son after a 5 month battle with cancer, made me realise that life is short and in the blink of an eye, our entire world can change. Many of us go through life working and to busy to spend quality family time and by the time we realise this, it maybe to late. I want people to understand that there’s more to life than material things, cherish your loved ones because they can be taken at any time.
In this book you share your grief but you also help readers understand how to continue after a loss. What were some ideas you wanted to share with readers?
Each person’s grief is unique and we all mourn differently. There’s various stages of grief and each of us can go through different stages at different times. There’s no fast rule that you must be in the first stage of grief example denial. You can start with anger, bargaining or even acceptance. We must also remember that not everyone will go through all the stages. Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of life’s biggest challenge and the pain of grieve can disrupt your physical, emotional and spiritual being.
What do you hope the one thing readers take away from your book?
Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that is important to you. Everyone grieves differently, there is no time limit to grieve and each person goes through the phases in their own way. With time ,the sadness eases, you’ll be able to feel happiness and joy along with your grief.
Nadeem was just 25 years old when he passed away after a short, but painful illness, however he lives on in the tireless efforts of his mother, Sherine Anniruth, to memorialize his life. The Ultimate Love is as much about Nadeem, the central figure that binds together the chapters of the book, as it is about his mother’s grief over his loss, in all its unimaginable dimensions. Anniruth’s grief comes in waves, some that reduce her to tears, others that almost obliterate her ability to continue with daily life. And her work serves as an open letter to anyone experiencing the same pain, wondering how they could possibly live on after their child has gone.
The Ultimate Love is a work of deep and startling honesty, but not one likely to fly off the shelves. Anniruth struggles to keep her emotions down long enough in order to analyze and discuss her grief, rather than to be caught up in the depths of it. Perhaps it’s not possible to capture such a deep sense of grief in words, let alone review a work that details a mother’s unending love for a lost child. As Anniruth herself says, “each person’s struggle is different”, and her experience of grief is hers alone. The Ultimate Love is less a novel and more of a guide to living through loss, authored by a loving, abundantly caring mother who asks how the world could dare to move on, when she’ll never be able to do the same. She tries to find positive affirmations and an overarching meaning for what happened to her son – a young man we sadly, barely come to know in the book, falling back on her faith for support.
What Anniruth has written is more a testament to the fragility of life, to its cruelties, and to our natural, built-in resilience to continuing on in the face of loss. As she carries the ghost of her son with her, she is herself transformed by the act of keeping him close to her heart. It’s not an easy read, for more reasons than one, but a book that’s bound to touch those who find themselves in the same position as Anniruth, and trying to cope with what feels like an insurmountable loss. Her parting gift to us as an author is to try and face it all, her grief, her hopes, her fears, and the small ways in which life does go on, while memory never fades.
Pages: 125 | ASIN: B0871MW1M9