From Elizabeth Mary Cummings, author of The Forever Kid
A lifelong bookworm, English was my favourite subject at school. I
studied Psychology and Business Studies at University before doing a
postgraduate in Primary School teaching. I discovered my passion for
teaching and my love of working with young people.
Recently I have focused on developing and publishing my writing with a special focus on mental health, writing about real life situations in narrative form. This narrative therapy approach to discussing mental health issues with children is something that I think is a very strong tool for helping heal and develop positive communication strategies especially when talking about difficult subject matter with young people.
I got the idea for The Forever Kid when I was thinking about my uncle who I never met. He died when he was a teenager before I was born. My father often spoke about him and described how sad the family was that he had died, even though he had been ill for a long time before then. I had been talking to my parents about life and family and so I think that my mind was focused on family matters. I woke up in the middle of the night and the whole story was there in my head. I got up and write down my thoughts straight away and then spent three years honing the narrative as well as seeking community engagement and feedback before pitching it to publishers. It was so vital to ensure that the story's message rang true and that the integrity of the message remained intact throughout the creation.
My hope is to not only share this story but to facilitate a greater awareness in society of grief from a child's perspective and to start a dialogue with families and their support networks on the matter of death and grief