Guelph-Wellington paramedic pens children's book about grief
GUELPH -- A Guelph-Wellington paramedic is hoping to make conversations with children about death and grief easier through a picture book.
Heather Eimers wrote "An Emotion Called Grief" last December after her step-father, who she called her dad, died suddenly.
"I needed to put some of my emotion down so that I could focus on other things," she said.
Eimers is a paramedic, a profession that encounters death often.
"The nine years that I've been doing my job, I've been able to separate and kind of desensitize myself from bad things," she explained. "But this grief deserved to be validated every single step of the way."
One night while at work, Eimers put pen to paper and started writing down her feelings.
"It just kept going and going and I started to realize that some of the things that I was writing were rhyming," she said.
Those words eventually turned into the children's book, with the story meant to help children better understand and cope with death.
The next day, Eimers, along with her daughter, Parker Boudreau, began illustrating the book.
"I made the front cover actually over the phone," Boudreau said. "She FaceTimed me and said, 'I want to do this right away.'"
Eimers published "An Emotional Called Grief" independently through Kindle Direct Publishing.
"I would like this book to be in a counsellor's office," she said.
Waterloo child therapist Melissa Fellin says a book like Eimers' is very helpful for children dealing with loss.
"It leads them to feel like they're not alone and that they can see that somebody else is feeling the same feelings as they have, and it also helps them to be able to talk about their feelings by talking about the characters in the book," Fellin said.
Eimers says she hopes "An Emotion Called Grief"A will help a child cope the same way it helped her.