George-based journalist, editor, and communication specialist Athane Scholtz has just published her first book, Peace in Grief.
Athane was married to well-known media photographer Desmond Scholtz who died of Covid-19 in July 2021. Their daughter, Emma, was 17 and in matric, and their son, Nathan, was 14 and in Grade 8 at the time of Desmond’s death.
The book is a brutally honest account of the surreal world of sudden death, the wide-ranging impacts of trauma on her and her teenage children, and the peace beyond understanding that sustained her throughout. She also offers advice for the grieving and those wanting to support them.
Athane said the book was meant to assure the grieving that the strange myriad of effects they were experiencing were ‘normal’, to translate some of the complexities of grief to those who have not yet experienced loss, and to share her perspective on new beginnings and the reason why the bereaved were still here.
“Desmond died of the very aggressive Delta strain of the virus, which had claimed many relatively young and healthy individuals. There were so many people dying at the time, of Covid and other diseases such as cancer and heart attacks, and I spoke to many people about the disorientating effects of loss.
“I realised people were finding it difficult to put into words the muddle of emotions and experiences following the death of a loved one. Most were afraid to be too honest to their friends and families about the implications as to not shock, offend, burden or concern them.
“So, I decided to be honest and vulnerable about my own experiences in the hope that it would help as many people as possible affected by loss. I also included advice from others who have lost loved ones.
“My approach is Christian but the book is not condemning to non-believers and I think it will help many people navigate the strange world of grief,” she said.
Athane also presents encouraging talks about the grief experience and is currently developing a two-day Peace in Grief workshop for people wanting to take the first steps towards healing and a new life. “I believe there is a bigger plan for our lives and that moving forward is important. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t mourn, but it should be a season, not an identity.”
Peace in Grief has been endorsed by counsellors including Cape Town-based trauma counsellor Trish Wiese, George-based counsellor and intercessor Anna-Marie Roux and HeartbeatFM presenter and counsellor Veronica Stephens.
Peace in Grief is available in paperback from Takealot for R229 at (SA barcode 9780639760001)
On Amazon on for £9.99 at (ISBN-13: 979-8371870193)
On Kindle for £5.99 at (ASIN: B0BRDDYKZ9)
The book will be available in selected shops from March 2023. Watch social media and the website for details.
Retailers, churches, support organisations and counsellors are invited to contact the author regarding direct orders and bulk buys on email@example.com
Athane Scholtz is the former editor of SOUTH Magazine, former municipal spokesman for George and Knysna Municipalities respectively and started the Garden Route bureau of The (Eastern Province) Herald. She and Desmond operated as freelancers on the Garden Route for media organisations from across South Africa for more than ten years before again taking up permanent employ at the Nelson Mandela University George Campus (Desmond) and Knysna Municipality/SOUTH/George Municipality (Athane).
Athane resigned from the George Municipality in November 2021 to address the impacts of their loss and support her children. She wrote Peace in Grief in 2022. The title, published by UK-based PublishU, became available on Amazon on 1 January 2023 and Takealot on 1 February 2023.
She continues to run a media and communications business from home and is a regular contributor to blogs and other media. Her public speaking engagements include topics around personal and corporate communication, womanhood, grief and Bible-based faith. She committed her life to Jesus Christ in 1982 at the age of eight and has been involved in children’s church, youth ministry, course facilitation, as a church volunteer and small group leader.
More information about the book is available on https://www.peacethroughthevalley.com/