“What happens when our beloved pet dies?” “Do children die?” “Will I die?” “What happens when we die?”
Have you ever asked these questions growing up? As a parent or an adult in touch with children, have these questions been ever presented to you? Many parents dread these sorts of questions. Common answers may include – “I cannot talk about it now,” “we’ll talk about it when you grow up,” “when we die God takes us to heaven,” etc. Some children will pretend to settle for these answers, but even if it seems they do, deep inside they know dissatisfaction. A veil remains shut because the parents may not be ready to face these questions themselves.
Looking in retrospective, when I wrote Daddy Fixes Everything, two events may have affected me more than anything else – the premature passing away of our much loved golden retriever, Zoe, as a result of an acute kidneys failure, and the premature passing away of my own dad when I was only fifteen. Like it or not, Death is always there, waiting. Be it a dog, a parent, or a friend. The dance of life goes on – we are born, we pass on, shreds of us remaining with whatever we did in this world, so we may be born again in other forms.
Daddy Fixes Everything is a picture-book intended for children and young adults, as well as for parents and other adults. It follows a family of four children and their parents as they cope with the death of their pet hamster. I chose to begin the story with a very light humoristic tone, introducing a father who is ever-busy fixing broken toys and household sundries while surrounded by his children’s commotion. All is well until one child (Danielle) discovers that the pet hamster is not moving. Figuring dad, who can fix just about anything, can fix the hamster as well, Danielle arranges a rescue operation, only to find out that resurrection is not included in the father’s repertoire of skills… The story then takes a different tone as the family, particularly the children, presented with the first-time experience of facing death and its emotional ramifications, must come to terms with the passing away of their pet.
Despite the challenging task of explaining death and departure in realistic terms, Daddy Fixes Everything attempts to provide children and their parents with tools to cope; so doing in language and register that are age-appropriate.
What makes Daddy Fixes Everything unique is the approach it takes to the topic at hand. While many children stories on similar topics sugarcoat them with promises of heaven, Daddy Fixes Everything introduces different beliefs and philosophies without being religious. It allows for different opinions about the great beyond. Furthermore, it does so while attempting to provide practical comfort through suggested use of sense-memory.
In addition to children, young adults and their parents, the book found an audience with therapists, educators and even veterinarians. Parents, educators and other professionals, with whom I consulted while working on the story, were enthusiastic about having such a book at their disposal and so far the responses I received from readers are wonderful and touching.
Daddy Fixes Everything is available at www.DaddyFixesEverything.com, Lulu.com, Amazon.com and selected stores and locations.
About Ronen Divon:
Ronen Divon resides at the lower Hudson Valley, New York, with his wife and four children: a set of triplets and singleton. Ronen brings into his work as a writer, a unique blend of mixed cultures and philosophies. A filmmaker by education (School of Visual Arts, NY,) with additional training in multiple arts, Ronen is also a yoga and tai chi instructor, a spiritualist and a business entrepreneur, with rich life experience, and keen, honest observations. Ronen is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators), who previously published children books abroad, as well as short fictional stories and a series of articles related to spirituality (available at the Monroe Yoga web site).