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Ruth & Ralph, Wellington December 2010 - Last days at Natalie Way.



Thank you for coming to learn about Healing Hearts Grief Support. We are happy to introduce ourselves.  

Our names are Ruth and Ralph Winmill.
Having lived in Wellington, the capital city of beautiful New Zealand for the past 15 years, we have  moved  in January 2011 to our home town of  New Plymouth in the Taranaki, near stunning Mt. Taranaki.

Beautiful Mt. Taranaki/Egmont


Ralph is a Land Surveyor who now works for himself from home.  Ruth is a qualified Naturopath, who has also   been a nurse, worked in an Operating Theatre, also in health related retail, and now runs a Naturopathic Clinic   from   home.  She is also a Collaborator for a moved called The Difference™, a movie designed to “Open Humanity’s Heart.” 

We’ve been married almost 41 years, are the parents of two wonderful men and one wonderful Soul who returned home to Heaven in 2007.  

We also have 7 delightful grandchildren who have talented loving Mums.  

You could say we feel Blessed.  

If so blessed then, why are we setting up Healing Hearts Grief Support you may ask?  

The sudden death of our dear son Craig aged 34, has taken us on a very personal up-close journey of grief. We feel it has taught us much about how to navigate this journey to the point where we are now at Peace with his passing.  Our hearts are no longer filled with intense searing pain, but are healing well and we would love to share with you some of the ways we have come to this point.  

Grief was not a new experience to us when we lost Craig, but loosing a child no matter their age was the worst pain of all.  

We acknowledge that every single grief experience is different, but that ultimately we all desire to come to a point of Peace, where our hearts feel as healed as is possible.  To that place where we can feel Joy and Happiness again, without feeling that constant gnawing pain.  

Their experiences of grief have spanned many years.  

From Ruth –  

“I was only 11 years old when my cherished father Leo died suddenly of a heart attack at age 54. Then while in my teen years I lost a 4 year old nephew Robin in a motor accident, then tragically my brother in-law Russell aged 38 (a burst aortic aneurism), and two weeks later I witnessed the homicide of my headmaster Mr Black at  High School. My cousin Kevin aged 18 was the victim of a homicide only 18months later (shot by his schizophrenic brother), while there had also been the death of my baby niece Karen aged 3hours.  All this by the time I was 18 years old.  There was no grief counselling available then, so I called on my own resources to work my way through these tragedies, but I didn’t grieve for my father until I was in my early 50’s.”  

From Ralph –  

“In my profession as a Land Surveyor I was called upon to survey homicide sites and prepare survey plans as evidence for the Police.  This meant at times being one of the first professionals on the scene and on occasions the families of the victim were present.  Though not my own personal loved ones, I became involved by default in their tragedy. Therefore I had my own grief to deal with.  Sadly there were too many of these instances in my early years on the job and by now Ruth and I were married also.  Her bereavements continued with the sudden loss of her brother Keith at age 40 from a stroke which now affected me too as he was my brother in-law.  Over the next 5 or so years, my grandparents both passed, and my father Eric died suddenly from a heart attack also. I lost a newborn nephew Russell too.”  


In the years since then and up until they lost their son , they lost more family and friends, young and old.  

They shared Ruth’s Mum Kath’s long death from cancer
18 months later a very close friend Jocelyn died of melanoma at age 27. They supported her husband and children closely through this, then her husband Noel died 6months later in a car crash.

A 19 year old niece Karlene from a brain infection
Ruth’s eldest brother Neil from MRSA following a kidney transplant
Ruth’s sisters husband Roy from congestive heart failure
A close friend Sophia from suicide in her 30’s, Ralph’s cousin Bruce aged 55 of a heart attack
Ralph’s university mate Pete, slowly from a brain aneurism in his 40’s
A friend’s son Christopher aged 24 from suicide
They had now lost Ralph’s Mum Mona from Lymphoma
Two of Ruth’s sister’s daughters Debra aged 36 from a brain tumour and Shona aged 43 from breast cancer
The third of Ruth’s brothers John aged 62 died of lung cancer two years before our own son Craig who died from acute alcohol poisoning.  (We believed it to have been suicide until we got the coroners report.)  

Ralph, as Minister and Celebrant of  the Church we belonged to when we lived in Napier, officiated at a number of Funeral Services. Ruth assisted him with some of these.  These experiences involved preparing and conducting the Service.  

“We worked with the families who lost a new born baby, a 24 year old son to suicide, elderly people and a young man John that Ralph had conducted the marriage ceremony for the year earlier, who died in a vehicle accident. So in many ways we feel we have been there, and having experienced such a wide range of grief, we are now feeling guided to support others in whatever way we can.”  

Healing from grief is possible, even following great pain.  

They offer their unconditional love and understanding through your journey and trust they may be able to offer some practical tools.  

As a Naturopath, Ruth has many modalities to assist with all aspects of grief, namely physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  

They are not affiliated to any Religion although they have been in our earlier years of life.  

Now Ruth & Ralph have a Spiritual out look, and believe; that ‘we are all one, here to share and support each other through life.’  

They would love to be able to make a difference to your grieving.  

Thank you for taking the time to read – ‘About Us.’  

Ralph and Ruth  

June 2011