Can a life be lived around a circle? Notions about existence proceeding along a linear path from youth to age are dissolved by travelling round the circle of an autobiography from an adopted Northumbrian.

Diana Jansen’s extraordinary life and how she coped with the loss of four key men in her life has been put into words through her new book, In My End is My Beginning.

Born in 1937, Diana is the daughter of Godwin Baynes, a prominent Jungian analyst, and his beautiful fourth wife, Anne, 21 his junior.

Diana’s infant years were basked in the glow of the strong and loving presence of her charismatic father. But then came the outbreak of the Second World War and sorrow and uncertainty darkened Diana’s golden existence.

Not on the battlefield, but at home.

In their fine nine-bedroomed house in its beautiful Surrey garden, devoid of the staff of pre-war existence, her mother, a stranger to all domestic and cooking tasks, worked tirelessly to keep up impossibly high standards. By 1943, she was worn down and became seriously ill, disappearing to hospital for several months.

With his young assistants being away at war too, Diana’s father took on a greater workload in his London clinic. He too became seriously ill and had an inoperable brain tumour, of which he died in the autumn.

For Diana, this was the first of four major experiences of death - in each case, the loss of a deeply loved man central to her life.

Her life story is about many things, but at its heart it is about coming to terms with bereavement and the very process of dying itself.

Full of sensitivity, understanding and gentle humour, getting under the skin of such a sombre subject, Diana’s writing is never onerous or gloomy. When she is able to, she grasps all the joys of living with both hands.

While she was devoted to her mother but it was often a relief for Diana to leave home - and with the chance of a more cheering life in other company. With terrific energy, she took every opportunity to travel, to enjoy people, to work and to play.

Diana developed a special relationship with her cool and handsome, elder brother, Mickey – he was protective of her, nearly standing in for her father.

But once again, fate dealt a tragic hand.

When Diana was away working as an au pair in the US, she was ‘numbed’ by a telephone call bringing the news that Mickey had died in a car crash.

Her brother had been due to start training as a doctor at St Thomas’s in London, just a few months after his own life had been cut short. Diana took the decision to train as nurse at the same hospital.

There she met the young doctor, David Crockford, who would become her first husband, as well as a very fine surgeon.

In a demanding working world, David was essentially a loner, and as such unwittingly inflicted loneliness on their beloved. But the arrival of children, three daughters, made the void a warmer space.

They worked hard and lived a family life of mixed phases and fortunes, movingly described.

In his middle years, David became ill with cancer. He had the blessing of being married to a natural and a trained nurse, although working then as a professional singer.

At 44 years old, Diana found herself a widow.

This was the third major loss for her to come to terms with, in conjunction with her bereaved daughters, Nicola, Helena and Catherine, who needed nurturing through.

But, with the blessing of David close to his passing, she made a promise that she would marry again one day.

After 10 months, at a local party, Diana met Chris, a personnel manager and a widower who had brought up four sons on his own. A whole new life now came into prospect, together with an extended family.

Chris was a highly practical and domesticated man, and he gave Diana unstinting support in her next career change - to study psychotherapy in the Jungian field, the same sphere in which her late father was such a distinguished practitioner and Diana got great satisfaction from writing a biography of her influential, fascinating father.

Diana then opened her own psychotherapy practice in Newcastle while Chris set to work on the building of their new Swedish-designed home in the Tynedale village of Dalton, near Stamfordham, where they lived.

But across the horizon crept a gradual infirmity – Parkinson’s disease. For some time, Chris was able to keep it at bay, helped by Diana’s care as well as his own resolution and stoicism.

Ultimately, after nearly two decades, he was felled by it. In her mid 70s, Diana was once again on her own.

Belying her age in years, with an open mind and full of energy, Diana travelled far and wide, recently being sped round Thailand’s rough roads on the back of a stepson’s motor scooter.

She also used her time to reflect and write her own story; a story of challenges risen to, love given and received, talent, education, adventures, pleasures, songs of sorrow and of joy.

A launch event of In My End is My Beginning will be held in Riding Mill Village Hall at 6.30pm on Thursday, April 23.

All proceeds from the launch event will go to British Red Cross.