Dad pens children’s book to help with bereavement

A South Yorkshire dad was inspired to write a children’s book about bereavement – helping with his own loss.
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Richard (Ric) Hart was brought up in Doncaster from the age of 18 months.

He went to Macaulay Catholic High School and was there when he met Jade Hazelgrave on a night out in Wakefield.

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Still 18, she was his ‘childhood sweetheart’. It was Valentine’s weekend in 2002 when they met, and they would travel on the bus regularly to see each other.

Ric is pictured with Hugo and the first donation of £1,200 for CruseRic is pictured with Hugo and the first donation of £1,200 for Cruse
Ric is pictured with Hugo and the first donation of £1,200 for Cruse

But Jade died in 2018 at the age of 33 just after giving birth to her first child, Hugo. Jade and Ric had married at a romantic location in Thailand in 2015; the couple settled in Misterton, but Jade’s family still live in Wakefield and Jade is laid to rest in the county.

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So, when the country went into the first Coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, it would have been easy for Ric to sink into depression. Instead, he spent the time writing a book for Hugo – and other young children - about bereavement. Now the book has been published and is finding new readers as children and families come to terms with losing loved ones to Coronavirus.

Hugo and Daddy’s Night-time Adventures is written as a poem and linked by colourful illustrations to capture moments, memories, and feelings around the loss of Hugo’s mummy. It might just provide some help with a little one’s loss. Proceeds of the book go to Cruse, the bereavement care charity.

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Hugo and Daddy’s Night-time Adventures is in paperback, retails at £5.99, and is available from Amazon.

Ric has also donated copies to Misterton Library and to Misterton Primary School.

Doncaster Council is to provide a copy of the book for each of its staffed libraries, and a copy for its school library service.

The title has been sent to Nottinghamshire County Council in the hope that it, too, will see the value of the book, particularly at this time of loss due to Coronavirus.

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Ric is two and a half years into his journey as a single parent and widower and has

found huge inspiration, peace, and acceptance of the loss of his wife by keeping her memory alive through the creation of his books.

And during the second lockdown, Ric has been working on a follow-on book, Hugo and Daddy’s Thailand Adventures.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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