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Grief book is healing for ‘Nana’

Grief book is healing for ‘Nana’

Posted: Monday, March 5, 2012 8:00 pm

Special to The Messenger
Sheila Kay Turner of Martin said she didn’t plan to make any profit from a book she penned about her emotional struggle that stemmed from losing her granddaughter. Her goal was for the book to help just one other person and that would be her blessing.
Not only has Mrs. Turner been blessed by the healing power her book has revealed, the compilation has been healing for her as well.
“This was a long process. When I started writing it, I had no intention of anyone ever reading it,” Mrs. Turner explained.
Her book, published last October, is titled “Journey of Grief — Miracles Do Happen, Don’t They?” Mrs. Turner began compiling notes the evening her granddaughter, 11-year-old Madison Fagan, was admitted to a hospital after she was struck by lightning.
One week later, Madison was pronounced dead. The community mourned the loss in 2006 when the almost-teen lost her life. She was a Martin Middle School student and athlete and known among her peers as a motivator and a true friend.
The 96-page book, penned by Mrs. Turner, is a collection of her most intimate thoughts, memories and emotional struggle in dealing with the loss of her granddaughter.
Mrs. Turner said after Madison’s death, she had difficulty finding books to help her understand and cope with her grief.
“I went in search of therapeutic books. Everything was just too clinical and those books didn’t speak to my broken heart at the time. So I began writing and it was cathartic. It served as my therapy,” Mrs. Turner said.
It was a five-year journey for Mrs. Turner that ultimately led to the publishing of her book. Throughout her struggle with grief, she kept a close relationship with God.
In time, Mrs. Turner said she has been able to think of her granddaughter and smile, instead of bursting into tears.
“You never get over it. In time, you start having pleasant memories again. It is still gut-wrenchingly painful, but I can smile again when I think of her. I feel truly blessed to have been her grandmother,” Mrs. Turner added.
People called the incident a “freak accident.” For Madison’s grandmother, she knew that God was in control and has a plan for everyone.
“I hope this story makes people look at their blessings even just for a second,” Mrs. Turner shared.
“Journey of Grief” is an emotional read. It allows the reader a glimpse into the family and life of Madison.
There are little moments to bring a smile, and there are other moments that bring out the tears.
A reader will walk the path of grief that Mrs. Turner and her family took after Madison’s death.
While it is designed to help others cope and heal, it is overall, one “Nana’s” tribute to her granddaughter and the apparent joy Madison seemed to bring into everyone’s life who knew her.
The book can be found online at
Editor’s note: Sabrina Bates is the news editor at Weakley County Press in Martin.

Published in The Messenger 3.5.12

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