On Easter Tuesday 2009 Amanda and Paddy McConville and her sons lives changed for good when they lost their only daughter and sister Rachael in a road traffic incident on the Castlewellan Road in Rathfriland. Roll the clock forward eight years and Amanda is publishing a book called Rachael - My Beautiful Daughter My Beautiful Friend which she hope will help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

Rachel was knocked down while crossing over the Castlewellan Road, Rathfriland, was seriously injured and passed away the next day in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. The youngster was almost 12 years old and she had two younger brothers Shéa and Oran whom she loved very much and who loved her.

Amanda McConville with her book. Rachel - My Beautiful Daughter, My Beautiful Friend.
Amanda McConville with her book. Rachel - My Beautiful Daughter, My Beautiful Friend.

Amanda found it very hard to live after losing Rachael. She didn't want to live; she just wanted to give up because the pain was so hard to deal with.  She started to write a journal every night before she went to bed, about her feelings that day and anything else which would have happened to her. It was like therapy to her to get all her feelings out. She did this for three years until one day a friend suggested she write a book.

Five years in the making the book is finished and it is planned to launch it next week on Rachel's Birthday, 30 June.

The book is about how Amanda has dealt with her grief. She wants to show people how tough it really is for a parent to cope when they lose their child and how she has come through a time of great darkness to begin to live again.

Amanda has put her heart and soul into this book. She has written very personally about things which have happened because she felt that so many people like herself need so much help after losing a child.

Amanda says she was “so lost” when Rachael left and that “there was nothing to guide her” in the form of a book. So that is why Rachael's Book had to happen. Amanda comments “It will help a lot of people and encourage them never to give up no matter how hard it gets. It’s important to have faith in their child who has passed and they will get there. The pain never leaves but you learn to control it. It doesn't control you anymore”.

Rachael's Book is a Beautiful, Spiritual Book full of healing and hope and it is being launched next Friday 30 June at the Downshire Arms in Hilltown and it can be bought on the night. It will also be available on Amazon soon.