Helping children cope with bereavement - new book from Worthing author

A Worthing woman, who took up writing to help deal with the death of her father, has penned a heartwarming children’s book exploring themes of loss, grief and friendship.
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Ash Hunter is in print with A Different Day, which provides a sensitive and relatable resource for children navigating the complex emotions surrounding death and grief. She is promising a compassionate tale of friendship between a puppy called Lilo, a character based loosely on Ash’s golden retriever, who bears the same name, and her best friend, Mo.

“It’s been a labour of love and I’m really excited to see it come together,” says Ash, who will be donating £1 from the sale of each book to Brain Tumour Research.

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Ash’s support of the charity comes following the death of her father, Kenny Hunter, in April 2020, aged 51. Kenny, a scaffolder who was originally from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, but moved to Swindon, Wiltshire, aged 15, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a week before his 40th birthday in January 2009. He had his thyroid and lymph nodes removed, and part of a lung four years later, but went on to develop nine secondary brain tumours. Ash, an animal lover and Pet Family brand ambassador, said: “Dad was someone who always put others first. He was a witty, happy-go-lucky man and the most considerate person I’ve ever met. He started getting really forgetful and angry, and just wasn’t himself. I probably noticed it more because I was away at university and not living with him, but I said to my mum ‘I think his cancer’s in his brain’.

Ash Hunter with her new book and her dog (contributed pic)Ash Hunter with her new book and her dog (contributed pic)
Ash Hunter with her new book and her dog (contributed pic)

“She spoke to his consultant who assured her it couldn’t cross the blood-brain barrier but, six months later, she insisted they did a brain scan because I was 99 per cent sure that’s where it was. Sadly, by the time they found his brain tumours, it was too late to do anything about them. They gave him a year to live but dad lasted 26 months. To be honest, by that point, I think he was tired of all the treatment.”

27-year-old Ash is hoping to raise at least £2,740 for the charity, which is enough to sponsor a day of research at one of its four Centres of Excellence. “The reason I feel so strongly about supporting Brain Tumour Research is because dad’s brain tumours were the point at which we were told there was nothing that could be done. We always knew his cancer was terminal but we deemed him as living with cancer. The brain tumours are when things changed and we said ‘Oh, he’s dying of it now’.”

Ash’s writing started after a counselling session as a way to deal with her grief over losing her dad. She said the book came about “almost by accident” and features rhymes as a tribute to Kenny who used to write “silly” poems to her mum. She said: “If I can help just one person deal with the ideas that no one lives forever and loss gets easier over time, then I will feel like I’ve achieved something.

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“As the last page in my book says: ‘Lilo had learnt this lesson, which she could not forget: It’s good to show your feelings, even when you are upset. Sometimes sad things happen, and there is nothing to be done. But a friend can always show that after dark nights comes the sun.’”

A Different Day is available to buy on Amazon. It can also be ordered at

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