Kaitaia woman Debby Curreen will officially release her first published book, The Long Cold Nights of June, at the Kaitaia Library at Te Ahu at 10.30am on Friday next week (June 7), but it will be much more than a standard launch.
"I will be talking about my brother's suicide and the tough journey recovering from all the grief," she said.
"I will also talk about how I came to write my book, and my hopes for it."
The collection of 37 poems is a very personal expression of the grief, despair, depression, anguish and shock that she experienced after her youngest brother took his life, just shy of his 33rd birthday, in 2006. And she hopes it will help others who are experiencing the same emotions as they endeavour to achieve acceptance, and finally happiness.
"We didn't see it coming," she said of her brother's final act, "which is why it was such a tragedy. The emotions that follow a loss like that never go away."
She began putting pen to paper a year later, poetry being the easiest form of expressing herself.
"I didn't have to think too hard about it. The words just came," she said.
While the words were her own, very much from the heart, the book had been professionally edited, a process that had been more about minor "tidying" rather than making significant changes, Debby hoping that others who were experiencing what she had been through, and continued to suffer, would read what she had written and perhaps make some sense of it all.
She was offering hope rather than answers, however, and certainly wasn't looking for sympathy.
"I hope these words will help and heal others," she said.