Helping with the grieving process

Dec. 19, 2012 @ 07:49 AM

Jesse Roberts has come up with a way for Rutherford County citizens to help the children affected by the recent school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

Roberts is the author of "Katie the Ladybug: Explaining Emotions of Grief to a Child," which he wrote as part of his senior project at R-S Central High School. His personal experiences of grief at a young age after losing his mother and father were his inspiration for it. The book was published by A Pair of Docs Publishing during his senior year at Gardner-Webb University.

"In lieu of the recent events in Connecticut, my publishers and I have decided to send copies of "Katie the Ladybug: Explaining Emotions of Grief to a Child" to Newtown," Roberts said. "The kind of trauma these children have experienced is going to have a lasting effect on their lives. It is my hope that we can connect them with resources, such as these books, to help them begin to process their grief early. This is our opportunity to make a difference."

In the book, Katie the Ladybug was one in a family of eight ladybugs. One day Katie becomes very sick and dies. After Katie's death, each of her brothers and sisters has to deal with the grief in their own way. Some of the emotions expressed by her siblings are sadness, anger, jealousy, anxiety, fear fulness, and guilt. Each character has a different color scheme and facial expression that parallels with his or her emotion.

"My heart has been breaking for these children and families since I heard about the tragedy in Newtown. I believe it is human nature to want to do something to "fix" the hurt, but the harsh reality is that there is nothing we can do to take away the pain these families are feeling. Sending these books is just a small way we can come together to make a difference in the midst of such a terrible situation," Roberts said.

Roberts and the publishing company are currently accepting donations to get the books to as many children as possible.

"We are currently accepting donations for the cause. Only $10 will cover the wholesale value of one book, and the cost of shipping," Roberts said. "The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children and Families has agreed to receive and distribute the books to the children and families in the community once they arrive in Connecticut."

Anyone who would like to help, please make checks payable to A Pair of Docs Publishing and mail checks or cash to P.O. Box 972; Boiling Springs, NC 28017. Feel free to include cards or notes in your mailings to send to the children from Sandy Hook Elementary School.