An inspiring story of one woman’s journey through heartbreaking loss to renewal and new purpose.
In 2008, inspirational surgeon Chris O’Brien published his bestselling memoir of his battle with brain cancer, NEVER SAY DIE. But he wasn’t the only person in the O’Brien household with a powerful story to tell. Since Chris passed away in 2009, his wife Gail has gone on a journey of her own: from a busy surgeon’s wife and mother of a picture-perfect family to a widow in her mid-50s, grieving not only her husband but also her son Adam, who died as a result of epilepsy a short time after Chris’s death.
Yet in the midst of her grief, Gail discovered resolve and strength deep within herself. When Chris was alive, Gail was the woman behind the great man. But after his death, she stepped forward to make her own mark on the world. While coming to terms with both a public and private loss, Gail took on Chris’s legacy as steward of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer centre, navigating the often bruising politics of boards and committees to ensure his vision was realised. She also went back to work as a physio after being out of the workforce for 20 years, while still holding her shattered family together. She reinvented herself and found that she could survive and even thrive in a world without her soul mate.
A moving, inspiring, deeply poignant and often joyous story of family, love and loss – and ultimately, about finding your purpose in the world.