The Copy Cat

Coming March 2020

Look For The Helpers: Mr. Rogers was right


I typically like to keep this blog light, but…

a very sad thing happened in the community where I live last Friday and I think it’s hard to be light when your heart is grieving.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in a small province on the east coast of Canada, a small place that is home to a little more than 700,000 people in an area that is roughly the size of the State of Maine.

It’s a sleepy, friendly place, and it’s where I set my latest book, The Frame-Up.

People here seem to know everyone else, and we like it that way.

Last Friday, all that changed when two people were murdered as were two of the police officers dispatched to protect them.

I don’t know the two people who were the original victims, but I do know the two police officers who went to help them: Constable Robb Costello and Constable Sara Burns.

And I know the pain and fear that this had caused within the policing community becauses my husband was once a police officer, too.


In the days since, I’ve thought of the families and the children they left behind, and I’ve thought of my community.

It will take a long time to heal from this tragedy.

Fredericton will not forget Sara and Robb’s sacrifice, but it won’t be held hostage to hate or revenge.

In one of the most moving events of this week so far, the city came together to join hands on Monday night.

Thousands showed up in an act of defiant love, and it was moving and healing.



I was pleased to see so many children participating and bringing flowers and teddy bears to the makeshift memorial in front of the police station.

In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought his own young son to pay his respects to the fallen officers and share messages of hope and healing for New Brunswick.



Shielding children from sad events doesn’t help them. Most of the time, they know about the events even if parents try to keep it a secret.

The wonderful thing is, thanks to the internet, there are many resources parents can access to help them answer children’s questions about safety.

And there are wonderful books about the aftermath of tragedies.

Visit these sites to learn more about them:

  1. this wonderful Indianapolis Library site.
  • This list on GoodReads.

I leave the final words to Mr. Rogers.

Sara and Robb were the first helpers.

When they fell, many more police officers, ambulance attendants, and just regular people like you and me, stepped in and took their place.

Thanks to them, more tragedy was averted.

Look to the helpers. Their love and sacrifice gives me hope.

Rest in peace Robb and Sara.


2 thoughts on “Look For The Helpers: Mr. Rogers was right”


Hi Wendy, I thought of you when I first heard of this, especially since I know that your husband was a police officer. Such a sad event for all involved, and also for such a lovely place as Fredericton.

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Author of Children's Literature