The Duke of Sussex has written an emotional foreword for “Hospital by the Hill,” a book aimed at kids coping with the death of a loved one amid the coronavirus pandemic, People magazine reported Friday.
The 36-year-old recalled how he struggled to accept the death of his mother Princess Diana, who also was 36 when she died suddenly in 1997 from injuries suffered in a Paris car crash. Harry was 12 at the time.
“When I was a young boy I lost my mum,” Harry wrote, as quoted by the outlet. “At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.”
Princess Diana with her son Prince Harry, circa 1995.
“We all cope with loss in a different way, but when a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love and the memories of them do not,” Harry shared. “They are always with you and you can hold onto them forever. I find this to be true.
“Now, I never met them, but I know this person was special to you, and they were someone incredibly kind, caring and loving because of where they chose to work,” he continued. “Helping others is one of the most important jobs anyone can ever do.
“You may feel alone, you may feel sad, you may feel angry, you may feel bad. This feeling will pass. And I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.”
“I hope this book helps remind you of just how special your parent or loved one was,” Harry wrote. “And how special you are too.”
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) riding in a traditional sleigh with Prince William and Prince Harry during a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria, 30th March 1993.
(Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
The outlet revealed that the new book is being published next week to coincide with Britain’s National Day of Reflection. It is written by Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Troote.
The book tells the tale of a young person attempting to make sense of losing their mother, a frontline worker at a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outlet noted that the book will be provided for free to any child or young person in the U.K. who has been impacted in a similar way. It will also promote services being offered by three charities: Simon Says, Child Bereavement UK and Winston’s Wish.
Harry’s older brother, Prince William, serves as a patron of Child Bereavement UK. It is also headed by Julia Samuel, a close friend of Diana’s.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently reside in California with their son Archie.
All three charities have pledged to help young children in need as they cope with loss.
Last weekend, Harry ensured flowers were placed on Diana’s gravesite on the Spencer family estate in Althorp, Northamptonshire, for Britain’s Mother’s Day.