Lyn Traill’s book Rainbows through Cobwebs has Tenterfield connection
Donna Ward July 23 2019 – 10:00AM
The book’s cover art and even title are borrowed from an artwork created by Tenterfield’s Theo Gard.
Grief in all its guises forms the core of a surprisingly-uplifting new book by Lyn Traill, which boasts strong local connections.
Tenterfield’s Theo Gard not only has his own chapter, but after a fairly harrowing hours-long conversation with Ms Traill on the content of that chapter, was inspired to create one of his abstract artworks that conveyed his perception of where his life is at.
He entitled the piece Rainbows through cobwebs. Ms Traill thought it perfectly encapsulated the tone of her book and, with Mr Gard’s permission, adopted both the title and the artwork as the book cover art (after it was photographed by Tenterfield photographer Peter Reid).
“The title was going to be Finding your ‘fabulous’ again and again, but this was just so perfect,” she said.
Ms Traill has quite a story to tell herself, detailing her struggle to overcome adversity in an earlier book called Sizzling at Seventy: Victim to Victorious. She was supported in that endeavour by husband Mick Hadley, former front man of Brisbane band The Purple Hearts from the 1960s.
Ms Traill was knocked down by overwhelming grief when she lost Mick to cancer, and this new book is a very personal look at her journey and others’ out of the hole in which they found themselves.
“I felt like I’d lost my mind, because I didn’t understand what grief was about,” she said.
With Mick’s family in denial about the outcome of his terminal diagnosis, Ms Traill said if she knew then what she knows now, she would have forced a conversation. She describes a three-stage process: acknowledge, accept, and then agree on what will happen.
Each chapter of the book concludes with Lyn’s Healing Toolbox, sharing techniques that have worked for her and the other subjects in her book.
As the unattributed quote at the end of the book’s foreword notes, ‘The measure of our greatness is in how we stand up after we fall’.
Rainbows through Cobwebs author Lyn Traill.
The book profiles grief in its different forms: loss of relationships, jobs and, in Mr Gard’s case, pets. The loss of his two dogs Harry and Pippa to old age were heart-wrenching particularly as they were his family. Ms Traill said this is a connection not appreciated or acknowledged by many, and there’s no closure through the funeral and wake process. Often it’s just a lonely trip back from the vet’s to an empty house.
The dogs had filled a hole in Mr Gard’s heart left by the loss of a twin brother at birth, and the eventual realisation that he’d never have children of his own. Coming to terms with these losses is described in the book’s chapter The Philosophy of Theodosios Albert George Gard.
Ms Traill said she believes you never ‘get over’ grief “but the spaces between get bigger and bigger, and you find the things that make life worthwhile”. As such, in some ways these periods of devastation become a gift.
Ms Traill hopes to reconnect with her dear friend Mr Gard for a springtime launch of Rainbows through cobwebs in Tenterfield, with the cover artist and contributor in attendance.