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Maple Ridge author shares four-year story of grief, hope

Nadine Sands tells how she found a new love while grieving the loss of her husband
Local author Nadine Sands, 51, is having a book signing at Once Upon a Tea Leaf in Maple Ridge on Saturday. (Nadine Sands/Special to The News)

Since losing her husband to ALS five years ago, a local Maple Ridge author has documented her journey of finding new love, while she continues to grieve.

Nadine Sands, 51, is back with a follow to her first publication Hold On, Let Go: Facing ALS with Courage and Hope, that she said was a form of therapy to cope with her husband Mike’s diagnosis.

READ MORE: Sands took on ALS with positivity

“I didn’t give much thought about writing my second book,” she said. “I felt like I needed to tell what happened next.”

And what happens next can be found in Sands’ latest publication, High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide.

“It’s the four-year journey of grief and healing proceeding the earthly farewell of Mike,” said Sands. “During this time, I also had to say goodbye to my mom and some other loved-ones, and to my surprise, was faced with the decision to open my heart and let the love of another man inside.”

Although High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide is a continuation of Sands’ first publication she said the book stands on its own.

“It’s for anyone who has loved and lost and anyone who has ever felt unloved and lost,” she added.

Sands will be doing a book signing in Maple Ridge on Saturday (Feb. 29) at Once Upon a Tea Leaf (11970 224th St.) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Both the local author’s publications will be available at the event.

“The common feedback I get from my book is that it is inspiring, that it is helping people with their grief,” Sands said.

Mike will always be a part of her life, she said. The couple was married for 26 years.

“Even though I have married again, and I love and adore my new husband, that doesn’t change anyway how I feel about Mike,” she added.

It was difficult for Sands to overcome what people might think about her finding new love.

“When I first met Chris and we were starting to date [I thought] about what people would think about that after just expressing this undying love for Mike,” she explained.

Sands writes about learning to overcome those feelings.

“You can still grieve the loss of that loved one… but be able to embrace another love and love this person now,” she said.

READ MORE: Longest surviving person with ALS to be part of B.C. campaign walk

Mike was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2011 when he was 49 years old.

Sands started an online blog as a way to keep family and friends informed of Mike’s condition and share his “incredible spirit.”

The blog gave way to Hold On, Let Go: Facing ALS with Courage and Hope.

ALS Society of Canada describes the disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) to gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body.

Over time someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, and eat.

Approximately 80 per cent of the people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed, according to the society.

Mike passed away in Jan. 2015, 11 days before his 54th birthday. He leaves behind three children and a granddaughter.

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Hope, healing, comfort, love... could you or someone you know use any of the above? Then check this out my books. I just happen to have 3 book signings coming up! 🙌💃 Here they are: 👇🏻 Langley Indigo / Sun, Feb 23 / 1:00 - 3:00 @indigo 👌📘 Maple Ridge, T’s / Sat, Feb 29 / 11:00 - 2:00 @onceuponatealeaf 👍☕️ Abbotsford, House of James / Sat, Mar 7 / 11:00 - 1:00 @houseofjamesbooks 👊✝️ Both of my books will be available for purchase. You’re invited by the way... 😊 My latest book, High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide, is an intimate story of grief and healing leading up to and proceeding the earthly farewell of my late husband Michael. It’s a hope story about the wonder of prayer and the reservoir of comfort I experience during the ongoing grieving process and the loss of other loved ones, including my mom. I also share about finding the courage to open my heart to the love of another man and getting to know more and more the overwhelming, extravagant, immeasurable, high and wide love of God. ☝️ 👉 “Nadine models how to move forward without forgetting, how to live while honouring her first love, and how to use what was painful to help others through their own trials... In the end, love prevails both human and divine.” Tom Blackaby Readers are saying they can’t put it down; that it’s inspiring, faith building, hope renewing, comforting, encouraging, vulnerable and beautiful. My first book, Hold On, Let Go: Facing ALS With Courage and Hope, is described as “a stay positive in difficult times story.” I reflect on Mike’s strength and courage, on our faith in God and exceeding hope, and on the sorrow and joy of learning to let go. One reader says, “It’s a beautiful story of courage, faith, hope and love. It will change how people think about life and death." ❤️ . . #booksigning #books #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #bookstagrammer #booklove #booklovers #bookish #readersofinstagram #read #authorsofinstagram #authors #writerlife #writersofinstagram #christian #writer #christianwriter #faith #hope #grief #love #healing #comfort #death #god #godisgood #godislove

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