What has grief taught author Dr Richard A. Harris?

Dr Richard Harris -
Dr Richard Harris –

Grief is a mentor to successful surgeon and author Dr Richard A Harris, who lost his wife, Tine, to breast cancer two years ago.

He’s a man who’s learnt to manage grief but there are other aspects to his life as well. He is a successful vascular surgeon, and has recently written a book called Imagine.

Imagine is the novel version of the song by John Lennon. It has the same rhythm and structure,” Richard says.

It is set before, on and after ‘Imagine Day’, which is sometime in the modern era: a day when everything changes in the world and it becomes more like the world of Lennon’s song.

“I see Imagine as an opportunity to talk to people about real ideas that could change the world for the better.”

Richard’s book is now available through Amazon.

Grief over the loss of Tine, his wife of 29 years, informs but doesn’t control him. Heexplains more about this in an interview with me for The North Shore Times and Mosman Daily, which you can find by flicking through this electronic edition of the papers, to P 12.

What has grief taught you?

I asked Richard: “What has grief taught you?”

“One thing I have noticed after two years is that deep grief doesn’t go away and that it is with you in various forms and through various experiences almost on a daily basis.

“Through people and events that remind you and actively grieve with you about the loss of our missing person you come to accept but not truly understand why it is as it is.

“It also teaches you practical things, like how to cope on your own when you’ve been very much used to someone as a partner and contributor to practical things in your life. You must get on and do the basic things and then you can go on to more meaningful and other fun things that may have been initiated in the partnership.

“Grief takes you through and reminds you of all the emotions you had with the person you are grieving and makes you appreciate them for all the good things they were in your life,” he says.

“Grief has been a fairly constant mentor.”

“Grief has been a fairly constant mentor in many positive and some negative senses. It has rendered some creative parts less so. It has taken away the person who would say ‘stop and breathe’,” says Richard.

“And now I have to slowly figure how to say ‘stop’ to myself and relax and get away and enjoy life. I think this grief will be with me for the rest of my life in various forms, not strangling me but humbling me and making me appreciate life and love.”

Imagine is available through Amazon.

Richard’s Twitter handle is richharris2 and his website can be found at:

To read other people’s experience of what grief has taught them, go to:


Leave a Reply