An uplifting new book by a Tallahassee couple, “The Secret in the Clouds,” aims to help young children deal with grief and loss associated with family members affected by the COVID-19 virus.
The story combines positive mental health principles, a little bit of science, and some fictional/fantasy as the path to actively assist families work through the ongoing threat of the pandemic.
The central character is Sunny Albright, an imaginative 7-year-old girl, whose entire routine and life are dramatically disrupted by the impact of the pandemic on her family and community.
As Sunny confronts the pain associated with losing a loved one, she also loses her energy and imagination. She learns how to process her grief with the help of her family and a mental health professional – and some fictional heavenly cloud characters appear in her sleep to also help restore her to a healthier place.
“The Secret in the Clouds” is the work of communications veteran Ron Sachs, CEO of Florida-based Sachs Media, and his wife, Gay Webster-Sachs, a licensed mental health counselor whose specialty is hospice care, especially helping children deal with loss and grief. The story comes to life with beautiful original watercolor illustrations by Nancy Simons Sica, in this beautiful book designed by her husband, Aurelio Sica.
On Wednesday the Sachs are launching a national rollout and promotion of “The Secret in the Clouds,” (Fulton Books Inc., $9.99, online; $24.95 hardcover). Midtown Reader will carry the book and plans an author live-streamed event on March 6. It is already available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, online and in hardcover, among other platforms.
“We’re very proud to have conceived and created this simple but important story to help children everywhere cope with the hardest thing in the world: losing a loved one, “ said Ron Sachs. “We dedicate the book to all children, whose sights ought to be uplifted with hope, imagination, love, beauty, inspiration, and faith in today and tomorrow.”
Gay Webster-Sachs, who suffered the loss of her father when she was only 10, said the book also provides important messages for parents about helping children learn how to accept loss as a part of life.
“Too many adults believe that not talking about loss with children is the best way to protect them from continuing pain, but just the opposite is true,” said Webster-Sachs. “Open and honest communication helps children express their feelings and trusts them with the facts and truth about death being a part of all lives, for people and animals. It is the proper way to help them navigate such difficult and traumatic events.”
The Sachs family is directing all their profits and proceeds from the book’s sale to Big Bend Hospice – to help fund the organization’s important mission work.
“Helping children through loss and grief can be confusing and challenging for anyone, and without guidance children are very likely to struggle,” said Paul A. Ledford, President and CEO of the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association. “With its powerful plotline and lovely illustrations, The Secret in the Clouds serves as a valuable tool in opening deeper conversations with young children about death, loss, grief and how to get through it in a mentally healthy way.”
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