Local woman hopes new book will help children dealing with overdose of family member

EBENSBURG, Pa. — There are dozens of books about dealing with loss on the bookshelves of the Healing Patch here dealing with things like illness and suicide. The books are meant to help parents talk to children about how they're feeling and what they're thinking.

But, until recently, there weren't any books to help children process the death of a loved one from a drug overdose.

Melody Ray, the volunteer coordinator and grief specialist at the Healing Patch, works with children and families who have recently lost a loved one.

Since she couldn't find a book about overdoses geared toward children, she wrote one herself: "Someone I Love Died from a Drug Overdose." It's about a boy named Tommy whose dad dies of an overdose.

Tommy has to learn how to deal with his feelings, and one of the big messages of the book is that it's OK to feel sad or angry when somebody dies — it's a normal part of the grieving process.

The book also includes child-friendly definitions of things like "death" and "overdose," as well as a workbook that kids can use to write down how they're feeling and what they're feeling.

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