URFANA Ayub started writing after the death of her son, Adam.

What started as a letter to him, written as a diary entry in the depths of her grief, turned to a book, called After You Were Gone.

Now Urfana, a social worker, interpreter/ translator and counsellor, has released her third book, Sentiments, about how to cope with behaviours and breakdowns in relationships.

Urfana was born in Pakistan and came to Bradford when she was 19, in 1990, after she had got married.

Adam was her first child and was born with a heart condition. As an infant he had a series of operations, including open heart surgery, but growing up he seemed healthy and happy.

After leaving school he went to Bradford College then to Leeds Met University to study for a degree in youth and community work.

“He loved football, cars, boxing and music, and spending time with his friends. He was doing really well,” says Urfana. “Then he had a stomach ache for a few days and went to hospital for a check-up. I had no idea that he would never come home.”

It turned out that Adam had fluid on his lungs and a chest infection. On December 27, 2009 he died of pneumonia, aged 18. Urfana was at his side. “It was so sudden, I couldn’t believe it was happening,” she says.

It was on the fifth anniversary of Adam’s death that Urfana wrote him a letter, telling him how the world had changed, and how she felt about losing him. She missed him dreadfully, and had spent the day crying in his bedroom.

“Adam was my dear son and my friend. I started writing a diary, which was later published as my first book,” says Urfana.

Called Taray Janay Kaay Baad, it was written in Urdu and later translated as After You Were Gone. The book, about a mother’s journey after losing a teenage son, is a guide for bereaved parents.

“It is about loss from a positive angle and giving hope to readers,” says Urfana. “My loss gave me purpose in my life which I shared in the book.

“My second book was Maray Khat Taray Naam (My Letters To You). These letters were written to Adam on different topics to invite readers to reflect on their own experiences. The feedback has been overwhelming and very encouraging for me.”

Urfana’s new book will be launched at Bradford Hotel on Sunday, available in both Urdu and English. The title is Sentiments (Ahsaas in Urdu).

“Sentiments is about relationships, our society in general, our behaviours and breakdown in relationships,” says Urfana.

“It talks about human psyche and again invites readers to reflect on personal behaviours, habits and attitudes and make the changes needed to make this society a better place.”

Urfana is trained professionally to help people with emotional issues, but nothing prepared her for the loss of her eldest child. “It was my first experience of death and bereavement - I had never even been to a graveyard before,” she says.

She found that keeping a diary helped to channel her grief - while she was on a long waiting list for bereavement counselling - and it also made her feel connected to Adam.

“It was the first time I’d ever written anything.

“I wanted to express my feelings about Adam, it helped me so much I didn’t need counselling,” she says.

“Sometimes I wrote daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes when I was upset, or on occasions when I missed Adam. I reflected on my child, my life and my feelings.”

Urfana’s first book was written from the heart. “It is very raw emotion, and is written from a mother’s heart,” she says.

“It’s for anyone who has had a loss. I wanted to use my writing, and my experiences, to help others cope with their own losses and move on from their grief.”

When Urfana, who lives in Heaton, told her family about her plans to write a book, they were surprised.

“They knew that I had been writing, but they didn’t know what. I had faith that if my words helped me face the biggest tragedy of my life, they could help others too,” she says. “My books offer people hope and an invitation to reflect.”

Urfana has had positive feedback to her writing from around the world. “I had emails from America, Dubai, Pakistan. People said it brought comfort after losing a loved one,” she says.

“A loss is a loss in any community. Emotions are the same, whatever your culture is.

“I am lucky to have the love and support from my husband, my children and the rest of my family. It is crucial to have support around you when you need it the most.”

l Urfana Ayub’s books, by Adam Publications, are available from her website, adamayub.co.uk in both Urdu and English translations.

l Tickets for her book launch on Sunday, September 22, are available at adamayub.co.uk. All proceeds from the event will go to charitable causes.

Urfana Ayub can also be contacted at facebook/myinspirationadam

Emma Clayton