There is no guidebook for grief. But there are companions, including those who have already walked its path. Lee Carter’s memoir of her own journey with grief after her husband’s sudden death describes with great candour her journey of shock, loss, fear and change. She provides a glimpse of what it’s like to find a way through the wild and unpredictable landscape of grief.

Although every person’s experience of loss and grief will be unique, Lee points us all to the God who never forsakes us—our heavenly Father who is able to comfort and sustain us even through the greatest of losses, and who offers the only true hope in the face of death.

Back cover, ‘Letters to Emma: a memoir of grief and God’s love’, Lee Carter

Letters to Emma: a memoir of grief and God’s love

Matthias Media 2016
Covershot of Letters to Emma book
Image courtesy of Matthias Media

Knowing God through Jesus is the anchor of my life—it keeps me safe and holds me fast no matter what is swirling around me. I’ve sailed through some pretty rough seas in recent years, but God has been there with me in the thick of the storm and in the aftermath.

My first book, Letters to Emma: a memoir of grief and God’s love (2016) grew out of this time. It describes my struggles after the death of my beloved husband Paul in 2011. And in a way, it’s a testament not only to God’s loving care but also to his kindness in blessing me so deeply in my marriage to Paul.

It’s called Letters to Emma because it was my friend Emma who first asked me to consider writing about my experience of loss and grief. The only way I could do it was to imagine I was writing a letter addressed to one person. To Emma herself.

As a literary device it worked perfectly. It enabled me to write openly and honestly about a difficult, painful subject.

In the end I wrote six letters and published them on Write What You See as blog posts in Aug/Sept 2015. The response was overwhelming.

Not long after, Matthias Media suggested I use them as the foundation for a book. They now form the core of Letters to Emma.


I search for pastoral books (and have done for the last nine years) and find good ones perhaps every 6 to 12 months. This book is up there among the best. A few weeks ago, someone asked me to recommend a book on the experience of grief. CS Lewis’s ‘A Grief Observed’ and Nicholas Wolterstorff’s ‘Lament for a Son’ are perhaps the best and Lee’s book is in this category.

Kate Bradford ministers as an Anglican within the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and teaches Chaplaincy at Anglicare.

Available Now—through Amazon and Matthias Media (Aust)