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Woman finds healing through children’s book after loss

Lethbridge Herald photo. Colby Gaudette reads her book “I Wish You Could See” along with her son Kace. Her book was inspired as a way to overcome grief after the death of her husband.

Nicholas L. M. Allen

May 1, 2024

How a young mother turned grief into words with the book ‘I Wish You Could See’

A tragic hiking incident in the Crowsnest Pass has led to a Lethbridge woman writing a children’s book to grapple with her grief.

Last summer, the Lethbridge community faced a heartbreaking loss when Greg Gaudette, a beloved paramedic/firefighter, and his friend Jonah Swen tragically passed away in a hiking accident in the Crowsnest Pass. 

Left behind was Colby Gaudette, Greg’s wife, who found herself grappling with profound grief while also caring for their 13-month-old son, Kace.

During her sorrow, Gaudette discovered a remarkable path to healing: writing a children’s book titled “I Wish You Could See.” It is described as “A must-have book for every child who has lost someone they love.”

On behalf of the Lethbridge Firefighters Charities, copies of this book were donated for distribution within the Chinook Arch regional library system. Diane deLauw, the Library Manager for the Crowsnest Community Library, shared they should be getting a copy of the book for the Crowsnest Pass library from this donation.

Gaudette spoke with Steffanie Costigan, a local journalism initiative reporter for the Lethbridge Herald in an article published on March 6, 2024, sharing details about the inspiration.

“The book did unfortunately start from kind of a really negative experience in our lives. We lost my husband tragically in an accident last July,” said Gaudette.

Initially, Gaudette focused on various coping mechanisms to navigate her grief. She explained how she had a couple of choices with how she would manage her grief.

“I didn’t want our son Kace to lose both of his parents because of this accident,” she said.

With Kace as her guiding light, Gaudette turned her attention to preserving Greg’s memory and imparting his love to their son. In her quest to find resources to help Kace understand and process his loss, Gaudette searched for children’s books on grief but found none that resonated with her message. However, she soon found herself inspired to create her own narrative. 

“Then as I was going through writing this, it was honestly probably the most therapeutic experience for me to let me focus on me trying to kind of take some sort of silver lining out of a terrible experience,” she shared.

One unique aspect of Colby’s book is its customization for children who have experienced loss. She incorporated a section where children can write memories of their relationship with their departed loved ones, making the book a deeply personal and healing tool for grieving children.

“I wanted to kind of make it more inclusive to all kids that were affected by loss,” said Gaudette.

Gaudette’s book has garnered significant support, serving as a way for her to give back amid her own healing journey. 

“We were very supported by the community and everything through this. So, in a way, this was kind of me trying to give back,” she stated.

Greg Gaudette’s held a nine-year tenure as a firefighter/paramedic with Lethbridge Fire/EMS before the accident last summer.

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