Julie Zarifeh shares the tragic story of losing her 27-year-old son, Sam, in a whitewater rafting accident just sixteen days after her 60-year-old husband, Paul, died of pancreatic cancer.
She describes how she and her surviving son and daughter dealt with this double whammy and how she embraced the notion of 'active grieving'. This included a 450-kilometre cycle tour around Sri Lanka, raising money to give disadvantaged Kiwi children new bikes; trekking the 800-kilometre Camino de Santiago; and running the New York marathon on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation.
Julie's account of learning to live with grief, plus her experience as a clinical psychologist, make this an inspirational and ultimately uplifting read.
Julie Zarifeh is a consultant clinical psychologist who has worked across a variety of community and district health board mental health teams. Around the time of the Christchurch earthquakes she became part of a multidisciplinary team investigating the psychological factors contributing to 'broken heart syndrome'. Changing from a clinical to a research focus led to publications in academic journals, and presentations at New Zealand and international conferences.
In 2017, Julie's life changed dramatically with the deaths of her husband, Paul, and son Sam. This fuelled in Julie a passion for resilience psychology, as she worked to accept and adjust to the double bereavement. She is now studying for a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, and in 2019 she featured in the documentary Camino Skies about walking the Camino.