Because The Sky Is Everywhere
A book of hope for grieving children and families.
(Eleven Eleven Press, ©2017). This book was inspired by real conversations and dreams by Nancy Sharp’s twins. They children were three years old. Their father had died the year before, and they struggled to understand just where he was. Death of a parent is a hard enough concept for adults to grasp, but it’s all the more abstract for small children. Just like Liam, Nancy’s twins searched in obvious places around their home and neighborhood before coming to believe that their daddy might be elsewhere. They came to this realization on their own in the midst of a car ride.
“Where is Daddy?” her daughter Rebecca asked.
“Daddy is in the sky,” answered twin brother Casey.
“Is the sky back that way Mama?”
“No,” said Casey, “the sky is everywhere.”
What Nancy Sharp portrays in Because the Sky is Everywhere is the universal longing for reassurance that children feel when someone close to them dies — be it the death of a parent, death of a grandparent, death of a sibling, or loss of a pet. While young children may not have lasting memories, they still find comfort knowing that love can be felt in innumerable ways. Love is in the family photographs, in the stories told around the dinner table, in the shared activities, rituals, jokes, and in the arms of the family, friends, people, and pets who are still with them. When the physical world feels too painful to hold, they can learn to visualize a protective place or being just like Liam.
According to research compiled by the National Alliance for Grieving Children, New York Life Foundation, Judi’s House, Comfort Zone, and Childhood Grief Awareness Day:
- 1 in 7 Americans lose a parent or sibling before the age of 20 (30,000 in the Metro Denver area and 60,000 throughout Colorado).
- 46 percent of children struggle with disbelief after a loved one dies.
- Nearly 70 percent of Americans growing up after death of a parent still think about their parent frequently.
- 7 in 10 teachers currently have one student in their class(es) who have lost a parent, sibling, or close friend in the past year.
- More than 60 percent of classroom teachers report that students who have lost a parent or guardian exhibit: difficulty concentrating in class; increased withdrawal and absenteeism; poorer quality of work and grades.
- Childhood grief is “one of society’s most chronically painful yet most underestimated phenomena.
Because the Sky is Everywhere is appropriate for children and families who have experienced the death of a parent, death of a grandparent, death of a sibling, or death of a pet. Please email Nancy Sharp directly at firstname.lastname@example.org about special orders for schools and organizations as well as custom printing options to personalize the book with messages and coloring pages from your organization.
Read Nancy’s letter to the editor about raising resilient kids published in The New York Times. The letter tells the story behind Because the Sky is Everywhere.
**Featured as a notable book in The National Bereavement Resource Guide
“I read this lovely book two days ago, and have already shared it with a ten year old client . She has lost two sets of parents in her short life..her biological parents and her adoptive mother and father. We read the book together and then went outside to look at the sky accompanied by my two dogs. We sat up on the top of the hill right by my office and watched the sun set as she talked about her losses, and the dogs sat on either side of her. She said, ‘Now when I look at the sky, I am always going to look at it differently.'”
Kay Loveland, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist,Trauma Specialist
“Because the Sky is Everywhere is a warm, inviting look at the process of grief from a child’s perspective. The young boys’ search to locate his father as well as find ways to maintain the connection is an accurate portrayal of the inner life of grieving children. The message offers hope, and opens a conversation about death and these aspects of the grieving process which is beneficial to the children and their grown-ups.”
Lauren Schneider, LCSW, Clinical Director of Child and Adolescent Programs, Our House Grief Support Center