By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Jessica’s House founder, therapist to author book
Jessica's House book deal
Erin Nelson and Colleen Montague of Jessica’s House in Turlock will be co-authoring a new book for parents on how to deal with grief after the non-profit reached a partnership with Baker Books on Tuesday morning (Photo contributed).

Jessica’s House founding director Erin Nelson and the nonprofit’s director of outreach and education Colleen E. Montague will be sharing their insights in operating the successful grief support organization in a new book.

Jessica’s House was established in Turlock in 2012 to provide grief support for local children and families. The book, which is expected to be released by Baker Books in the spring of 2025, will include perspectives from Nelson regarding her personal losses. Nelson will co-author the book with Montague, a marriage and family therapist and the organization’s director of outreach and education, with the two offering wisdom for parents raising grieving children and those dealing with the death of a spouse, partner or child.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to share my personal memoir along with learnings from Jessica’s House,” Nelson said. “Parents need a resource when death impacts their family. My hope is that parents who are grieving find the companion they need through this book as they learn to support their children while also taking good care of themselves.”

The team at Jessica’s House believe the book will help parents feel understood and better equipped to support and comfort their children, alongside taking care of themselves. From how to explain death to their child and support their daily well-being, to healing practices for building resilience, the book will address parents’ greatest concerns after a death impacts their family.

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 12 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the age of 18. By the age of 25, that number doubles to 1 in 7.

According to the organization’s annual report released in April, Jessica’s House served 879 children, teens, young adults and their families in 2022. Of those, there were 338 peer support groups that met in person over the course of the year. Support groups are organized by age and type of loss, including parent loss, sibling loss, suicide loss, homicide loss, pregnancy loss and more.

Those served came from 38 surrounding cities from Stanislaus, Merced, San Joaquin, Sacramento and Tuolumne counties. The most common type of loss that enrollees experienced were parent or caregiver loss, which accounted for 83% of cases. All services are provided at no cost to families.

For more information on Jessica’s House, visit