These books are available from the publisher, Moorleys; as a signed copy direct from Gill Hartley; from Amazon or from the TCF shop.

Aspects of Loss (Book)

ASPECTS OF LOSS – A companion in Bereavement

In this, her second book since the death of her son Will at age 22, Gill provides a book to pick up at any time and dip into. Written from the depths of experience, this book will help any journeying through  bereavement and faces full-on the predicament of a culture that does not help bring grief into the open.  This substantial paperback contains Will’s story plus chapters dealing with different Aspects of Loss.  The book is interspersed with quotations and poems from both the author’s own and other published works, together with contributions from other bereaved parents.  Now a reprinted second edition

Illustrations by Diane Brazier. Foreword by Michael Rosen.  ISBN 978 086071 655 6.


This book is a collection of poems written during the year to eighteen months following the loss of Will.  Fiona Castle wrote in her foreword to the book, that “I realised through reading them the wonderful gift she (Gill) has of expressing, through poetry, the depths of love she has for the details of life. Before long these poems had grown into an autobiography of her life with Will”.

I don’t think we know for certain why or how writing about loss and bereavement seems to help us but I’m going to have a go at it here. When we write, we do something slowly and deliberately, choosing words and phrases that matter. This seems to make us lay things out in an order. We give the mass of feelings whirling around in our heads some kind of shape. It’s a way of sorting, and sorting figures largely in the way we humans survive and progress. People who can’t and don’t sort are people who find it quite difficult to cope with everyday things. So that part of writing which seems to be about sorting, is a way of helping us cope with these deeply sad things.

Extract from Michael Rosen’s foreword to Aspects of Loss

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