On 3 October, Diane Esguerra gave a speech at the Annual Bereaved by Addiction Conference held by DrugFAM, which aims to support families affected by drug and alcohol addiction.
Her book, JUNKIE BUDDHA, is about a journey of discovery when she went to scatter the ashes of her son, a year after he died of an accidental heroin overdose. Her talk was about attempting to create value through loss. 'As a Buddhist I believe that life is precious,' she writes, 'and that value can potentially be created through any suffering - however harrowing.'
Diane is a writer and a psychotherapist who lost her only child, Sacha, ten years ago. Sacha, like many addicts, was more than 'just a junkie', she writes. To his friends and family he was wise, gentle, creative, handsome and kind - a global and spiritual traveller, a lover of animals and nature. He had hiked the Inca Trail and said he'd love to return to watch the sun rise over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. Diane travelled there to scatter his ashes.
The journey wasn't an easy one - but it helped to reconnect her with life. On her return, she set up Greenlight Healing and Personal Development Consultancy. 'I believe that my journey with Sacha... has made me a better therapist and a more compassionate human being.'
Since its launch in September, the book has been featured in the Daily Mail and The Independent, and broadcaster Jeni Barnett said on BBC radio that not only could she not put it down but it 'is going to help millions'.