Michel Faber has published a book of poetry Undying: A Love Story, about the death of his beloved wife Eva Youren, from multiple myeloma.
The above is a link to the Guardian review / interview which provoked my twitching finger to buy two copies by mistake.
Would you like to receive my spare copy?
(GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED)
I considered donating it to the hospice or the local library, but it feels too intimate a work to throw out into the world to perhaps gather dust, instead of being read by someone who values what it has to say on the subjects of myeloma, life, death and the aftermath.
It can be hard reading.
It is very real.
It is also funny, sad, tender and beautiful.
I never met Eva Youren, but she wrote to me a few times in 2012, opening a short correspondence on myeloma, writing and fashion: the interests we had in common.
There is a poem in the book which reminds me strongly of her emails: concerning the frustrations her husband felt when trying to shop for her, to find a dress that suited her style and her changing body, in the wake of chemo treatments.
When she wrote to me, I was almost certain she wanted me to sew for her, but I was too overwhelmed by my own situation to volunteer and she did not ask outright.
I did not know that she had died until I noticed that her husband was coming to Aberdeen to talk about his latest book... and I found out that he would be coming alone.
He wrote a poem about travelling through Inverurie (my local town) that day. It is in the book.
I did not attend his talk - FL was in a great deal of pain and I was sewing a dress.
If you would like to receive my spare copy of Undying, please leave a comment below or email me at the address in my profile (click through from "About Me").
I will draw one name out of the hat on 31 July 2016 .
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTED ME AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER - I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT.