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Hugs From the Sky

Hugs From The Sky:

Author Helps Children Turn Trauma Into Treasures


Hugs From The Sky:

Author Helps Children Turn Trauma Into Treasures




Losing a parent at any age is devastating and comes with a whirlwind of emotions that you’re not ready to digest or confront.

  When children have to say goodbye to a parent who’s passed away - left to deal with the traumatic aftermath of coping with this loss - there are sometimes more complex components to the healing process than meets the eye.


For Kansas City-based author and public speaker Christle Reed, helping youngsters find peace after losing a parent - particularly to cancer - motivated her to share coping mechanisms with the world.


Preferred Health Magazine spoke to Reed about her first published children’s book: “Hugs From The Sky,” which fosters a healthy sense of awareness of death and dying while compassionately helping kids work through feelings of loss and despair, among other emotions.


Reed lost her own father to lung cancer at only 11 years old and in recent years revisited the loving, distinguishing, and nurturing qualities in her dad that inspired the colorful, down-to-earth 43-page book.

“I know what it’s like - as a child, it’s a different kind of shock. You think your parents are superheroes - they’re invincible and it’s impossible for anything bad to happen to them. They’re not supposed to die, so that idea isn’t even a concept to some children,” she said. “Even when you see someone is very sick and they’re going through a lot, you don’t want to think you’ll lose them any day. But my book delves into that and makes it a reality.”


However, sharing her personal loss and journaling through the pain paved the way for a unique story of cherishing loved ones; a mechanism that further helped her heal.

“It’s the story of my father’s outstanding personality - his charismatic ways, what a wonderful father he was, how he was the life of the party. And over the years I learned to hold onto his memories and celebrate different aspects of his life,” she said. “I want to teach children, through this personal experience, that even though their parent(s) may be gone, they’re still here in other forms - in other ways that they can be grateful for, be inspired by, and never truly forget.”


The warm illustrations in Reed’s book do not dodge any truths, as the main character, a young female, is depicted standing in a cemetery facing the reality of loss and mortality.


Today’s generation, she said, wants straightforward answers and clarity.

“It’s a completely different world now than it was when I dealt with the loss of my dad in 1998 - there were no resources for children and kids were overlooked when it came to understanding grief. We never had counseling when we were younger,” said the 36-year-old. “I think we’re doing better emotionally as a society and we’re trying to psychologically offer children better mental health networks to cope with grief. Those kinds of discussions were taboo when I was growing up, so I didn’t have those conversations about sorrow and loss and the feelings that come along with losing a parent. Now, there are cartoons, YouTube videos and other platforms dealing with these issues, so we might as well keep an open mind about the topic. Kids want direct discussions and they want the truth when dealing with this kind of topic.”


The married mother of three works in behavioral health in her local school system. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S. in Management and Leadership.


“Hugs From the Sky” was published in 2021 and it only took her a few week to finalizing the story. Once she had an illustrator to perfectly encapsulate her experiences, it took about five months until the final product was on the market.

“I blogged a lot and people followed me on social media. My family and friends knew my life story and what the book would be about,” she admitted. “Most importantly, this book is like a letter to my younger self and it was a great source of therapy.”



Reed’s tenacity and spiritual growth has enabled her to use her own loss as a transformation and healthy tool that will live on for generations to come.

“Everyone’s life has a purpose and we have to instill that value in our children so they can, in turn, value time with their parents and realize that even though death is inevitable, you can manage and prioritize the time you spend with them,” she said. “If you’re a kid whose mom is asking you to run to the grocery story with her for a few minutes, is that worse than taking a break from playing for hours on your Playstation?”


While she jokes around, knowing that most kids find their parents ‘annoying’ she has advice for anxious youngsters: try to simply acknowledge the love your parents have for you and identify that those ‘annoying’ moments are coming from a place of love.

“There are times parents get very sick and they won’t tell their children. My dad didn’t tell me he had cancer - I found out while I was eavesdropping on a phone call! That’s why I feel children should value time with their parents, because they don’t truly know what their parents are going through and when that last moment may happen.”


“Hugs From The Sky” is available on Amazon and you can follow Reed on LinkedIn for all of her literary updates. Visit her website for more information.


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