A wise writer once said that grief is the primary impetus for writing. It is certainly what forced me to sit down and bring the stories out of my head and onto the page back when I started writing in 2002.

Through writing out the pain of my losses I began to heal.

By reimagining the circumstances and outcomes of my losses, I was able to glimpse another way of being.

By helping others to write out the pain of their hearts, my own heart began to mend.

Sunrise – Coolum Beach

We write to bear witness to our own pain, to leave a mark for those we love who didn’t have the time or inclination or the power to make their own. As writers we have the power to do all this. 

We can free ourselves from the endless reruns of traumatic moments in our lives by recording them on the page. But even more than this, by applying the magic of the imagination to the unchangeable facts of our losses, we can transform these stories into meaning. We can create hope and joy where perhaps none existed.

Better yet, the power of the imagination is so strong that the brain, after a while, can no longer differentiate between memories and our imaginings so our gentler, kinder, more hopefully imaginings begin to temper the trauma of the truth.

I have always written to search out or create meaning from the losses in my life. And it has worked.

I write my way into being. I write my way through emotions I can’t understand. By finding the right words, by giving my story structure and form, by giving my pain to imagined characters, I am able to leave behind my attachment to these stories of loss.

I am able to create beauty from what had previously only felt like ugliness.

So write! Write out your pain. Reimagine the stories you tell yourself and transform them. Create beauty from the darkness.

That is our power as writers.

“To see that your life is a story while you’re in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well.” 

Ursula Le GuinGifts

A Guide Through Grief

If you need help getting started or are floundering in grief and need a helping hand, I’ve just released my new book A Guide Through Grief, which I hope will help you through.

You can buy it directly from Amazon as an eBook or Print on Demand if you are outside Australia, eBook only within Australia. 

If you’d like a hard copy here in Australia just CONTACT ME and I’ll send you one. Soon you’ll be able to purchase directly from my website.

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the self-same well from which your laughter rises is oftentimes filled with tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy it can contain.”

Kahlil Gibran

Sending lots of love your way,

Edwina xxx

Big Moomin hug


A Guide Through Grief – First Aid for Your Heart and Soul

A Guide Through Grief – First Aid for Your Heart and Soul

Practical tools, creative activities and yoga exercises to help you cope with the loss of someone you love.

Grief hurts. It hurts like hell. It’s only natural to want to run as far and as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Trouble is, the further you run, the greater the spectre of your grief becomes, growing into a terrifying monster, hot on your heels.

Don’t be afraid. Use this book to help you turn and face that monster of grief. Maybe you’ll find it’s not that scary after all. Discover ways to tame your grief and make it a wise friend to walk beside through life.

There is a way forward. You will feel better. You will learn to smile again. One day at a time. One step at a time. Breath by breath.

Let me take your hand and gently guide you towards healing the pain of losing someone you love. A new dawn is on its way.

A Guide Through Grief is the book I wish I’d been given when I was fourteen, experiencing grief for the first time after the death of my father. It has the tools I needed when I was twenty-one and my younger brother killed himself after a long painful battle with schizophrenia. The tools I had when, many years later, I lost my third child a few days after birth. In A Guide Through Grief I share those tools with you in the hope that they will bring you comfort and make your journey through the pain of loss easier. With gentleness and love.

‘Part-memoir, part-guidebook, this will serve as a comforting ally to those whose lives have been turned upside-down by grief.

Dr. Warren Ward – Psychiatrist and writer

‘Just wonderful – heartfelt and wise. A soothing balm for your soul. A comforting hug in a book.’

Favel Parrett, best-selling author of Past the Shallows, When the Night Comes, and There is Still Love

“Edwina Shaw understands grief in many ways – through devastating personal experience, in her work as a yoga teacher, and through facilitating workshops that explore emotions through writing. Brimming with wisdom, comfort and practical suggestions, ‘A Guide to Grief’ is a tender and compassionate handbook for negotiating loss.”

Dr. Fiona Robertson, medical practitioner and writer.

It’s available now on Amazon as an ebook to read for free, or at a small price so that it can reach those who really need it. Just waiting a day or so for it to be available as a Print on Demand edition for the US and UK markets.

And here in Australia I’m printing some of my own 🙂 Will let you know when they’re ready to go.

Please help my little book shine in the Amazon firmament by downloading or buying, you don’t even have to read it – though of course I hope you will.

In other news my story “Pinwheels” has been awarded one of The National Association of Loss and Grief awards in the 8th Annual Grieve Project Anthology – also available now.

And if you’d like a taste of my writing on grief, here’s my essay “The Gifts of Grief” published online at UPLIFT CONNECT.

Red Backed Wren Publishing logo! I drew it myself!! 🙂

A Guide Through Grief is the first book I’ve released through my own publishing house – Red Backed Wren Publishing. I hope there will be many more. I love those little birds – joy lives in their tiny beating hearts.

With love and gratitude,

Edwina xx