YORKTON - Peg Beaton has penned a book that draws on her own experiences to tell a story of healing.
The oldest of 10 children, Beaton was born on the Air force base in Claresholm, AB during WWII. She grew up in Rutland, part of Kelowna today, and graduated from Immaculata High school in 1962, moving on to Notre Dame from 62 -67, the first year as lay person and the other years as a nun.
“I went into the convent from 1963 to 1969,” she said, but then met her husband to be in 1970 and married having a family of three and a son from her husband’s first marriage.
The book tells the rest of the story for the next 44 years.
“This is a very personal story of our family’s walk through many losses and the impending grief,” said Beaton a counsellor with Parkland College from 2002-2010, and the Executive Director of Yorkton Transitional Homes for Youth from 2010 to 2017. “It is a self -help book as well.
“I have used our story to help others understand what grief and loss can do to us and how we can get through it. There is a summary of the losses and stages of grief at the end of each chapter and an appendix which is the basic content of my three-day workshop ‘Healing from Grief and Loss’.
Information on the book at www.balboapress.com delves into the story more.
“In 1976, the life of a busy mother of three changed forever,” notes the website. “After Peg Beaton’s twenty-month-old son was diagnosed with leukemia and given two months to live, she and her husband embarked down an unpredictable path lined with emotions they did not understand or know how to deal with.
“Forty-four years later, she now has a better understanding of grief and how it affects each of us in different ways.
“In a touching resharing of her family’s story, Peg details their personal journey with the hope of helping those suffering through losses both big and small to first understand and process the powerful emotion of grief, and then move into an acceptance stage to embrace a new direction filled with peace and joy. Included are chapter summaries and an appendix that provide valuable insight into the process of grief and empower those suffering to move from an existence fueled by fear and negativity into a state of positivity that welcomes peace, joy, and fulfillment. Healing shares the personal story of a family’s journey through loss and grief to help others understand the grieving process and ultimately heal.”
The motivation to write the book, her first, was straight forward for Beaton.
“The story came from our lives trying to keep a family together when three-out-of-four families with a terminally ill child end up in separation and divorce,” she told Yorkton This Week.
“. . . I have learned over the years of coaching and counselling how few people understand what happens when they lose something, anything. We get stuck in the grief and our lives become chaotic and we wonder what is wrong with us.
“No one has made us aware or helped us to understand this is a natural and normal process we can learn to manage. This book does that! We can get through these stages and we can heal and live a new life without an aching heart.”
The book is one Beaton said evolved over time.
“I have been talking about the book for a long time,” said the author who now lives near Churchbridge. “I had it completely outlined when our son was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013.
“I stopped as the journey was not over. There was more to this book.
“In October of 2020 I committed to writing every morning Monday to Friday. There were some days I could not get three hours in as it was somewhat emotionally draining but by Jan. 31, I was completed. “
The writing was at times its own challenge.
“For me the most challenging part was working through the memories as I wrote about them,” offered Beaton.
Then it was time to look for a publisher, another new experience among many Beaton faced with the project.
“As this is my first book it has been like taking a university course as everything involved is new and has its processes,” said Beaton. “It has been as much work after the writing as the actual writing. So here we are a year later. “
Now out for readers Beaton said she is satisfied with what she has penned.
“I have done what I wanted,” she said. “To tell a story that people could relate to in their own lives at the same time as giving them awareness and understanding of grief and how it affects our lives.
The added appendix gives readers a reference to the grieving process so they can learn more at the same time, she added.
“I am very happy. With self publishing through Balboa Press I have had the opportunity to have input through all the processes and the final say in everything. They have been great to work with,” said Beaton.
So who is the target reader?
“Really any individual 18 and over that has experienced a loss in their lives can benefit from it -- families who are dealing with terminal illness, suicide, death, loss of health or jobs - people dealing with depression or issues with anger,” said Beaton.
“At this time with COVID and lockdowns it helps people understand their feelings from all the losses we are experiencing and how they can process it for better mental and emotional health.”
The book is available at Balboa Press Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble in e-book, soft and hardcover. It will also be coming out as an audio book.