AN Omagh man has published a poetry book in memory of his wife to raise funds for cancer research.
Dermot Breen (59) pictured right, who now resides in Belfast, penned the poems over the five year period since he lost his wife Jacqui in January 2015.
He hopes sales of the book titled ‘Girl with the Dove – Poems of loss, love and life’ will help him reach his ultimate fund-raising target of £50,000.
It is the latest in a number of projects Dermot has completed helping him to deal with the grief of his loss and to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
He explained, “I lost Jacqui to ovarian cancer in January 2015. She had just turned 54 a few days beforehand.
“We had been together for 35 years and married for 28. When her life ended, I really felt that mine had also.
“However, you find strength from somewhere and manage to carry on and slowly, very slowly, you begin to emerge from the depths of despair and begin to live again.
“The poems in my book essentially track my progress from the darkness of despair to the light of hope.”
Since losing the love of his life, Dermot has completed three long distance walks, each over 1,000km, in Ireland and Spain to raise funds for his chosen charity. He has also published books and produced calendars based on each of those journeys, raising more than £48,000.
Speaking about his fund-raising efforts, he added, “Cancer Research UK carries out vital life saving research and continues to make incredible breakthroughs in the fight against cancer, but they rely entirely on public donations to fund their work.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to save Jacqui from this horrendous disease, but I take some comfort from the fact that my fund-raising efforts might help save others.
“I hope that people who have gone through, or are currently going through similar loss to that which I experienced will be able to relate to my poems and perhaps gain some comfort from them and an understanding that one does eventually emerge from grief.
“I also hope that it educates those who have had no experience of losing a loved one as to just how devastating and long lasting grief can be, years rather than months.”
• ‘Girl with the Dove – Poems of loss, love and life’ by Dermot Breen is currently available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. However, paperback copies can also be ordered directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org which generates more profit for Cancer Research UK.