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A Goodbye Book From The Heart

A Christchurch woman's book on dealing with grief,

by James Croot

Stuff, The Christchurch Press, Good Living —Sept 27, 2012

Christchurch's Melanie Mason never expected her life to imitate her art, but, as she tells James Croot, she hopes the finished product helps others dealing with grief.

It all started with Mason's huge collection

of photographs. A keen snapper, she'd categorised many of those taken while travelling the world with her family in an unusual way - by colour rather than chronologically or by country.

''I'm not a technical photographer, but I think I've got a good eye and can frame a photo well. I love being able to capture something that might not otherwise have been noticed - whether that's a texture, a series of shapes, a moment or colour. So I thought sorting them that way made them seem so rich and juicy.''

However, she found herself returning to one album in particular, again and again.

''The white album always made me feel peaceful, but I wasn't sure what I could do with it. Then one day about four or five years ago, the idea came to me in a flash that they could be married to poetry and quotes as part of a book to support people's grieving process.''

Mason admits she didn't have a lot of sad experiences to draw on prior to starting work on what would become Goodbye - For Times of Sadness and Loss.

''But then, interestingly, life began to imitate art and my own life went through a series of challenges and changes and the creation of this book ended up supporting my grieving process. It became very personal,'' she says.

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