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“That’s what I think anybody who’s read it has said.”
Welsh, a Grades 1 and 2 teacher at Mooretown-Courtright elementary school, said the grief of losing her middle child nearly five years ago was “all-consuming” and there was “nothing out there” for people who’ve lost a family member to suicide.
“There was some real self-help kind of books, but they’re deep and it’s not what you want when you’re already clouded,” the 56-year-old Port Lambton resident said.
The story she penned isn’t specifically about suicide, but loss in general.
“I think there are a lot of people that connect with grief and they don’t know what to do with that grief,” said the mother of three.
Welsh’s close friend Melissa Dent created illustrations to go with the words — images Welsh called beautiful, breathtaking and raw — and local publisher Dawn Stilwell is also involved in the project.
The 25-page fictional picture book is available online starting Thursday through Amazon Kindle and in soft cover by ordering before Dec. 21. The goal was to have it ready before Christmas and before the anniversary of her daughter’s death.
Melissa Welsh-Crivea died Dec. 27, 2015 at 26. The Sarnia Northern grad was an avid dressage horse rider who was quiet, witty, spunky, caring, and loved animals, her mother said.
“She was beautiful. She had a job. She was an accomplished horseback rider,” Welsh said. “But you never know what anybody’s going through.”
Welsh said she’s a private person, but she added it’s a “huge deal” to tell her story in a public way and potentially help others. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association, she said.
Soft covers can be ordered by emailing email@example.com