Capturing our love for art, adventure and learning
We’ve been incredibly blessed with 24 weeks/almost 6 months of full time travelling, homeschooling and being digital nomads. We set off knowing we needed a break away from the daily grind to just enjoy each other and the journey. It was our own journey of grief.
Travelling across Malaysia, Vietnam and now Thailand, we’ve enjoyed many experiences and made many wonderful memories. We have had a lot time to find ourselves, relax, reflect and reconnect with each other. But it still felt like something was missing. As Debra was creating her first published book "Ravi and Kitty", I had a sudden realisation that I could write a book as part of our amazing journey. To be honest, I was apprehensive about writing. I’ve never written or conceptualised a picture book.
“Nobody will think anything good about it!” were one of the many self-doubting thoughts that flooded my mind. Then, that still small voice in my heart went “It is for your daddy, mummy, your kids and family”. My heart almost immediately swelled up with passion and inspiration to embark on the project. The core ideas of the book came almost instantly. It must be about COFFEE! There I sat at the dining table, pouring my soul into writing a book that would be a fitting end product of our Grand Tour.
THE END PRODUCT
First and foremost, I must give due credit to my beloved wife and illustrator of this book. Without her support and countless hours of drawing, none of my ideas would be brought to life. I’m so very proud of how she connected my thoughts and ideas and communicated them so well through the art she produced. She also the artist behind our sticker, art card and t shirt collections.
She’s really the better half!
This is not just an ordinary book that comes off a regular profit making publishing house’s conveyor belt. "The aroma of his coffee" is our journey down memory lane as we remember a man's love for his family, travel and his coffee. Debra and I will launch this book on 28th September 2022 on what would have been our beloved daddy’s 70th Birthday. This book is first dedicated to my dad. We feel acutely his absence every single day. I feel this is the most fitting way to remember what he meant to us and what we meant to him.
WHAT WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE
I have also written the book while being profoundly aware that grief and loss is a huge part of everyone’s life. I hope that our book can help others journey through their grief of losing a loved one through remembering. We hope people will be inspired to explore the many forms that memories take. Photographs/Videos have been the primary medium through which we reminisce but we've realised how powerful smells and a sense of place are in rekindling memories. Remembering is always bitter sweet. It can initially feel painful to remember but remembrance can help us cope and inspire our steps ahead.
Anyone who has experienced loss and grieve would be familiar with this cycle:
What we really need however is to work through our grief and loss. (As we have discussed in our mental health post how important it is not to just chuck it aside)
We need to exercise remembrance to reframe our thoughts, accept the situation and have a go-to coping strategy. Grief will never actually go away. You’ll always miss the person you’ve lost. Working through grief can help to lessen the debilitating effects of the pain and cope better when the wave hits you again.
This book has done exactly that for Debra, the kids and I. Being the author/illustrator of the book, we’ve had the fortunate opportunity (or unfortunate for some haha) to read the book a million times before it gets published. It brings out the feelings of loss and pain but at the same time, we are comforted by the fact that we actually shared those wonderful moments. It gives us the impetus to make more of those good memories and do what really matters in the grand scheme of things. This reframing exercise helps us accept the situation and channel the emotions into something positive in our lives. We hope that our story can help you do that too.
E-Books will be immediately available while hard copies will be on pre-order while the press works on producing them. We hope to have your strong and generous support this launch!
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You may be wondering if the end product also means that our trip is ending. To be honest, that prospect is looking quite real. We are not sure where we’ll be going next or how this will pan out long term. We hope that our work is well enjoyed and supported and in turn we can keep going for awhile until we decide on the next phase of life. We think that we would like it to go on for a little more.
In the meantime, please help us share this post and about our upcoming launch. Let us know your thoughts and comments too!
Sharing our love of art, travel and learning with you.