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Just six months after the shock loss of their brothers and sisters in the Mangatepopo canyoning tragedy, five Elim Christian College pupils have taken the bold step of writing about their experiences.

In their book - called Never be the Same - the five express how they felt empty, puzzled and lost soon after their siblings died and detail some of their emotional struggles.

"Sometimes people say dumb stuff. They don't know what I am feeling and they expect me to be sad all the time," they write. "Sometimes, my friends forget about what has happened and I feel like I have changed but they haven't."

The picture book ends with a message of hope.

The pupils tell of learning how in hurt there is healing and while life would never be the same, they could learn to live it to the full.

Ben Bray, 12, whose sister Natasha was one of seven from the school who died while on camp at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre in April, told the Weekend Herald the ending was important.

"It gives hope for other people reading the book - saying [to readers] if they can get through it, we can too."

Hannah McClean, who lost her teacher brother Tony, said it was good to hold the proof copy. "It felt special," said the 15-year-old.

Lauren Mulder, who lost her brother Anthony, said the group discovered there were few books to help cope with the loss of a brother or sister.

She said they were given material about losing a parent but it did not quite fit their situation.

"We can use our own experience to help other people," said Lauren, also 15.

Two versions of the book will be published, one about losing a sister and the other about losing a brother.

The words for both came from group counselling the siblings went through together.

Each of the five - including Jacob McPhail, 9, and Olivia Bray, 14 - also helped to illustrate it.

Murray Burton, principal of the school in Howick, said the work carried strong messages written from the heart. "It's just an absolutely amazing outcome of this."

He said the final version of the book was with the printers and it was hoped it would be published and officially launched by the end of the year.

Book extracts:

"And life grows around it ... this grief of mine ... And I learn ... Small things don't matter ... "

"I learn in the hurt there is healing ... And I learn to live life to the full ... I guess it will never be the same."

"Sometimes, every time I woke up it all came flooding back and the hurt and the loss felt new again."