Bali victim gets closure at last
SOMETIMES the best way to heal grief is to put your head down and write out your story on paper.
That's what Bali bombing survivor Hanabeth Luke realised when she decided to record her experiences of the bombing and its aftermath in a very personal story.
Shock Waves: Finding Peace After the Bali Bomb, is the result of a journey by Ms Luke to resolve the horrific event that 10 years ago claimed 202 lives.
Today the Southern Cross University PhD candidate and keen surfer will launch her memoir as part of the Byron Bay Surf Festival.
"I've always loved writing, and then I suddenly found myself with quite a story to tell," she told The Northern Star yesterday.
But while she started writing elements of the book 10 years ago, "life took over" and after 18 months she abandoned the project.
Fast forward to late last year, and it was when three close friends independently told her she still needed to "let go" that she resolved to complete the project.
"Clearly they could see something that I hadn't let go of that needed to be dealt with," Ms Luke said.
After committing to finishing the book in time for the bombing's 10th anniversary, she "locked herself away" between New Year's Eve and Easter, giving up all socialising except for "early morning surfs".
"I said to myself: 'I'm going to be really clear headed about this, and really focused, and really make sure to go back and understand what I'd been through'.
"Because I think a lot of the time I just swept a lot of the emotions under the rug... I thought that was necessary at the time to keep going at the time and keep living.
"Writing the book and going through that story... has really helped me to close that door and step forward into the next chapter of life. It's been the best thing I've ever done. I feel so much lighter."