Kelsey Parker, the widow of The Wanted singer Tom Parker, paid a special visit to Bolton to share her new book on life after losing her husband.

Tom tragically died in March last year at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020.

Fans, friends, and family queued up to show their support and get a copy of her new book ‘With and Without You’ signed by Kelsey in Waterstones Bolton.

She said: “I am just so overwhelmed that I’ve actually got a book on the shelf.

“As if little old Kelsey Parker has got her own book.

The Bolton News: Kelsey and Tom's mum Noreen Parker at the book signing in BoltonKelsey and Tom's mum Noreen Parker at the book signing in Bolton (Image: Newsquest)

“The book has been really hard to write.

“Ultimately, I’d love the fairytale ending that I thought I was gonna have in life, but I’ve not had that, so this is a book of my journey, and how I have overcome challenges that life has thrown in front of me.

“And I’m so proud of the book.”

She says that the book has been the best form of therapy for her because of not wanting to go to traditional therapists.

@theboltonnews Kelsey Parker opened up about her emotional journey during a special book signing in #Bolton today. Read the full story here: #tomparker #thewanted #tomparkerthewanted ♬ Summer day - TimTaj

She added: “I’ve not been able to go to a therapist because that’s just not me.

“For some people it’s amazing, but for me it’s not.

“It’s literally been like such a healing journey for me and when I read it, I can’t get through the book without crying.”

Speaking to The Bolton News Kelsey says that the process of writing the book was “tough”, especially the fact she started writing it three weeks before the first anniversary of Tom’s death.

The Bolton News: She said: “It brought up a lot of emotions for me, but it’s been incredible for me to do, and I think it’s been part of the healing journey.

“I think writing on paper how he died, how it happened, and even just going over his illness was all such a blur because when he was actually diagnosed it was like ‘right let’s fight or flight’, and we pushed forward.

“And I think it’s that realisation to be like ‘this is what I’ve lived through for the past three years’, and how hard and emotional, and awful really, my journey has been.”

She says that she has managed to get through it because of her “inner strength” and her “ability to cope” but she says it does not mean she is not still “hurting”.

She added” I just think I have this inner strength and I have the ability to cope, but it doesn’t mean I don’t find things extremely hard, and I think that sometimes people think that because I am so strong and I’m not there crying it means that I’m not really hurting.”

The Bolton News: Kelsey says that her life has “completely changed” and she will never be the same person she was three years ago.

As she moves through the grieving process, she says that after a “whirlwind romance” with Tom they had an “extraordinary life” together and he will never be “replaced”.

She added: “I’m a mum of two and I’m on this grief journey, and it’s really hard to navigate my way through it, and I’m just trying my best.

“And being strong for my kids is the way I’m coping.

“Tom had the biggest impact ever on my life.

“I met him when I was 19 and we had this whirlwind romance, and also the fact that he was in one of the biggest boy bands in the UK, what we lived and went through together was absolutely massive.

The Bolton News: Kelsey and Tom ParkerKelsey and Tom Parker (Image: PA)“And I think his time that he had on earth of 33 years, he lived it to the extreme, and we had the best time ever so he’s massively impacted what I can write about in the book because we really lived an extraordinary life together.

“And I’m obviously never gonna live that again, and no one is gonna ever replace Tom because he literally is irreplaceable to me.”

Kelsey’s new book is available in Waterstones, Amazon, WHSmith, and via her Linktree on her Instagram @being_Kelsey.

She said: “If you’re suffering any pain or any loss.

“It doesn’t have to be grief.

“It can even be a breakup.

“I feel like you could read my book and find some sort of hope in the book too.”

Karli Durrant from Salford came to support Kelsey with mum Lisa Taylor and had previously taken on the CoppaFeel breast cancer charity trek with Kelsey.

The Bolton News: Right to left: Karli Durrant with mum Lisa TaylorRight to left: Karli Durrant with mum Lisa Taylor (Image: Newsquest)

She went on the trek after being diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago and wanted to support Kelsey with this being something “close to her heart”.

Karli has now gone into remission.

She said: “Kelsey was my team captain.

“As a team we raised more than £550k for one trek.

“It was a five-day trek and chatted and trekked on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

“I’ve come here to show my team spirit and I’m looking forward to reading the book.

“It’s close to my heart.”

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