Young children across the country are receiving helpful and sympathetic support from an uplifting new book as they cope with the pain and grief from loss in the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. “The Secret in the Clouds” recently earned high praise from the head of a national care organization, hailing its story combining positive mental health principles, some upbeat fantasy, and science to assist families with children to work through the ordeal of loved ones lost to the pandemic or any other cause of death.
The book tells the story of Sunny Albright, an imaginative 7-year-old girl whose life is turned upside-down by the impact of the pandemic on her family and community. She learns how to process her grief after a family loss with the help of her family and a mental health professional – and some clouds that appear in her sleep to help restore her to a healthier place.
“The Secret in the Clouds” is written by Gay Webster-Sachs, a licensed mental health counselor whose specialty includes helping children deal with loss and grief, and her husband Ron Sachs, CEO of Florida-based Sachs Media. The book is illustrated by Nancy Simons Sica in a design by her husband, Aurelio Sica.
“The Secret in the Clouds” has drawn noteworthy praise from Edo Banach, CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“As the father of two small children myself, I was touched by how Sunny processed her grandmother’s death with the help of her therapists and some friends in the clouds,” said Banach. “This is a vivid and helpful book that will surely touch children and parents, as it touched my own family, and I am certain that the book will be helpful to a generation of children processing their own grief and the loss of too many friends and family.”
Similar praise for the book’s nurturing story and positive plotline has come from teachers, parents, mental health professionals, and children who have read and reviewed it.
Gay Webster-Sachs, who lost her father when she was only 10, said the book will help both children and their parents deal with loss as a part of life.
“Communicating with children at their level is crucial to help them address profound loss,” she said. “Our goal was to give parents some guidance on what to say, how to say it, and how to help their children get the help they need to understand and process what seems so incomprehensible.”
Added Ron Sachs: “There is surely no greater pain in life than losing a loved one to any cause. We created this book to help children learn how to open up about their feelings and to eventually gain acceptance of this part of life for all people and creatures.”
The Sachs family is directing all proceeds from the book’s sale to Big Bend Hospice in their North Florida hometown. “The Secret in the Clouds” is available for purchase online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in hardcover and e-book editions.