"I do not consider myself a poet by any means, I simply wrote as I felt" - Paul's words of love for wife Sharon turned into book

A widower from Halifax has turned the contents of his notebook from almost 30 years ago into a touching new book celebrating the love between him and his wife.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 1st November 2021, 12:35 pm
Author Paul Williams with his book
Author Paul Williams with his book

He has now published the book and will be sharing the proceeds of book sales with Overgate Hospice in memory of Sharon and as thanks for their care in her final days.

Words That Echo, by Paul Williams, 65, from Southowram, shares his thoughts and feelings about his wife Sharon, 54, who died of cancer in May.

Almost 30 years ago, Paul met Sharon and captured their thoughts and feelings in pieces of verse and prose and wrote them in a notebook, which he only recently rediscovered after her death.

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On re-reading the words, 30 years after they were written, Paul says he realised that the feelings from that time - most strongly, the feeling of simply wanting to be together - were echoed in his grief.

"Sharon was born in Halifax and I’m originally from Birmingham (moving to Halifax in 1986) ; we both worked for the Halifax Building Society and met when our individual departments were moved from different locations into the same new premises," says Paul.

"The first time we spoke was by the coffee machine and as time went on we got to the point where we just wanted to be together but we had to be patient and wait.

"The pieces I wrote for Sharon in the original notebook, which form the majority of the book, were written around this time, hence the themes of waiting and

wanting.

"Eventually we were together, as evidenced by the last few pieces in the book, written some months later than the first notebook. We both loved music, we both loved reading, we just loved spending our time together."

Paul says the feedback to the book has been overwhelmingly positive, with some people saying that it has reminded them of how they felt when they themselves fell in love years ago.

"A couple of comments have been along the lines that they wish it had been written for them, and perhaps the most heartfelt comments have been from people who have also lost partners, and who felt the book put into words just how they felt in terms of missing their partners now."

But for Paul "the best response has been raising over £500 already for Overgate Hospice".

Sharon was diagnosed with cancer in October 2019 but extensive scans and biopsies couldn't identify the source.

Later, in May 2020, the source was traced, but by that time the cancer had spread and she was told that her condition was terminal.

"I do not consider myself a poet by any means, I simply wrote as I felt almost 30 years ago; and once we were together, I had no need to write anymore," Paul said.

"But in the weeks and months since Sharon passed away, I have begun writing again.

"Words That Echo speaks of love and hope and longing to be with someone special; what I am writing now is about grief and loss and missing that special someone."

Published by ShieldCrest Publishing, Words That Echo is available in paperback (£8.95) from Amazon at https://amzn.to/2ZrZOlF and from the publishers at: https://bit.ly/3zvIKaI. It is also available via other bookshops, including The Book Corner in the Piece Hall.