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The Invisible String

Did you know some people believe there’s an invisible string that connects your heart to the heart of anyone you love?

“Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it in your heart and know that you are always connected to everyone who loves you.”

That’s what children’s author, Patrice Karst, writes in her bestselling book ‘The Invisible String’.

It’s a book that Beth, our Family and Bereavement Practitioner (Children’s Lead), uses often with the children who come to her for bereavement support at St Oswald’s Hospice.

Once, after reading the story to a little girl, age 5, whose mum had an incurable condition, the girl took the invisible string from her heart, to her mum’s heart and then connected it to Beth’s heart. And she said, “Now we’ll always be connected.”

After her mum died, the little girl was with Beth and she tugged the invisible string – she asked Beth “Did you feel that? I think Mam’s pulling her string from heaven.”

A few years later, when the girl was 9, she returned to St Oswald’s Hospice to read the story to a group of younger children. She explained that they’ll always be connected to their loved ones by the invisible string even when they die.

And that’s the power of story.

This week for Children’s Grief Awareness Week we were asked to think about ‘What helps?’

While there’s no magic wand, lots of things can help, including stories – which really help children to understand big concepts and cope with big emotions.