Podcast: Serving to Kids Grieve

Podcast: Helping Children Grieve

When youngsters expertise the deep ache of separation or loss of life, it may be extraordinarily therapeutic to study they’re nonetheless related to their family members by an invisible string of affection. That’s the premise of the youngsters’s guide The Invisible String, written by Patrice Karst, in the present day’s visitor on the Psych Central podcast. Patrice sits down to speak with Gabe about what sparked her thought for scripting this basic guide in addition to her subsequent books, together with The Invisible Leash, a narrative to assist children cope with the lack of a pet. As Patrice places it, her books are about love and connection to one another, to our animals, and to the planet.

Be part of us to listen to Patrice’s unimaginable writing journey and concerning the many lives who’ve been touched by her books on loss, grief and the everlasting connection of affection.


Visitor info for ‘Patrice Karst- Kids Grieving’ Podcast Episode

Patrice Karst is the bestselling writer of The Invisible String, The Invisible Leash, The Invisible Net, the upcoming You Are By no means Alone: An Invisible String Lullaby (in shops January 5, 2021), and the co-author of The Invisible String Workbook. She has additionally written The Smile that Went Across the World, God Made Straightforward, and The Single Mom’s Survival Information. She is obsessed with spreading her message of affection throughout the planet. Born in London, England, she now lives in southern California and is the mom of 1 grown son, Elijah.

About The Psych Central Podcast Host

Gabe Howard is an award-winning author and speaker who lives with bipolar dysfunction. He’s the writer of the favored guide, Psychological Sickness is an Asshole and different Observations, accessible from Amazon; signed copies are additionally accessible immediately from the writer. To study extra about Gabe, please go to his web site,

Laptop Generated Transcript for ‘Patrice Karst- Kids Grieving’ Episode

Editor’s Be aware: Please be conscious that this transcript has been laptop generated and subsequently could comprise inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thanks.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, the place visitor specialists within the area of psychology and psychological well being share thought-provoking info utilizing plain, on a regular basis language. Right here’s your host, Gabe Howard.

Gabe Howard: Welcome to this week’s episode of the Psych Central Podcast. Calling into the present in the present day, we have now Patrice Karst, who’s the perfect promoting writer of The Invisible String, The Invisible Leash, The Invisible Net and the upcoming You Are By no means Alone: An Invisible String Lullaby. Patrice, welcome to the present.

Patrice Karst: Hello, Gabe. Thanks for having me.

Gabe Howard: Nicely, I’m very enthusiastic about this. It’s a youngsters’s guide on some huge ideas, proper? And might you type of clarify what your books are about for our listeners?

Patrice Karst: Yeah, after I wrote the guide, which was a few years in the past, I wrote it as a result of my son on the time, who was very younger, I assume 5 or so, was in kindergarten and could be actually unhappy after I was a single working mother. And after I introduced him to highschool, he would cry as a result of he had separation nervousness actually badly and didn’t need me to go away. After which I might cry and it was a large number. So I began telling him concerning the invisible string that related us all day lengthy. And it was like magic potion. The minute he heard the story, the idea of this invisible string, that was it. His separation nervousness stopped. He was like, there actually is an invisible string? And I stated, Yeah. After which all of his associates wished to listen to it. And I knew I had one thing fairly particular. And that’s after I went to a writer, wrote it as a narrative and obtained it revealed. However I assume within the easiest phrases, my books are about love and our connections to at least one one other, to our animals, to the planet. The invisible string is the string that connects us all. And it’s invisible, however very, very actual. Love is a really summary idea. However the invisible string is a really tangible thought. And I feel that’s why children simply actually, actually obtained it that, oh, that is what love is. It’s an invisible string.

Gabe Howard: I’ve a duplicate of your guide, and it’s stunning. It was simply rereleased and it has new artwork and this can be a beautiful guide that I’m holding.

Patrice Karst: Thanks.

Gabe Howard: Are you able to describe what the guide appears like?

Patrice Karst: It’s a youngsters’s guide, however a part of what has been the wonderful miracle concerning the guide is that adults purchase it for one another, spouses, grownup youngsters for his or her grownup dad and mom, beloved associates. You already know, it’s form of a youngsters’s guide that spans all ages from 2 to 102. Personally, I feel that if we by no means learn one other grownup guide ever and simply learn youngsters’s books, we’d in all probability study all the things we ever wanted to essentially study since you don’t want a variety of phrases. Actually, I feel typically the much less phrases the higher to essentially perceive issues on a deeper degree.

Gabe Howard: I really like that and I really like particularly what you stated about adults utilizing the guide, and one of many issues that you simply talked about in our pre-interview was that adults everywhere in the world are utilizing this guide to assist cope with grief. Are you able to expound on that just a little bit?

Patrice Karst: Apparently, after I wrote, it was crucial to me that the idea that this invisible string that may attain everywhere in the planet, that would transcend time and house would additionally be capable to go to our beloved ones which can be now not right here on the earthly aircraft. And so I take advantage of the phrase heaven as that phrase. So in the whole guide, there’s only one web page and one phrase that eludes to everlasting bodily departure. And the writer was actually reticent to have a web page about loss of life as a result of, oh, it’s a child’s guide and we don’t need to speak about loss of life and use the phrase heaven. And my comeback, as a result of it was tremendous necessary to me is that youngsters are going to face loss of life, whether or not it’s their guinea pig, their hamster, goldfish, a grandparent. They hear about loss of life on the information. You already know, loss of life is one thing that’s a part of life. And the earlier we are able to tackle that with our kids, the higher. It shouldn’t be one thing that’s a taboo topic. So it was allowed. And I take advantage of the phrase heaven, as a result of to me, that was simply form of a common phrase. I didn’t imply it to have any spiritual connotation as a result of my readers are from each religion there may be each faith or none in any respect. And it’s only a mild phrase. Apparently, that one phrase on that one web page within the guide, as a result of the guide shouldn’t be about grief. The guide is about love and connection and the way we’re at all times related it doesn’t matter what. However due to that one web page. It has grow to be the primary guide for youngsters to cope with loss of life and dying. And it has grow to be an enormous grief guide utilized by bereavement organizations everywhere in the world and hospices and hospitals. And also you identify it, as a result of what may very well be a more true assertion and what may very well be a extra comforting idea than to comprehend that people who we love which can be now not with us, that we nonetheless have an invisible string that reaches to them and that we are able to tug on it they usually’ll really feel it. And once we miss them, that’s them tugging us proper again.

Gabe Howard: You do deal with loss of life head on in The Invisible Leash. Massive distinction there may be the invisible string is between people and the invisible leash is between an individual and their pets. However one other distinction between these two books is that The Invisible Leash does discuss explicitly about loss of life.

Patrice Karst: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: The loss of life of a pet.

Patrice Karst: Sure. You already know, I had gotten so many letters over time from folks that stated we’ve used the invisible string to assist our little one cope with the loss of life of their cat or their canine. Have you ever ever thought of writing a guide that may be particularly concerning the lack of an animal? And that’s why I did it, as a result of I believed it was necessary for there to be even a separate guide immediately about animals. However sure, we cope with loss of life head on. However we additionally cope with love head on. The 2 major characters are Emily and Zach, and Emily misplaced her cat and Zach misplaced his canine. And these two associates take a meandering stroll by the neighborhood the place they start discussing their beloved animals. And in Zach’s case, how a lot ache Zach continues to be in. Though Emily has now dealt along with her grief and is now completely conscious of the invisible leash that she has to her kitty cat who’s now within the nice past, and Zach desires to know, properly, the place is that this nice past? I don’t imagine in any nice past. And it’s stunning as a result of by the top of the story, Zach completely feels the connection he has to Joe-Joe his canine within the nice past. And sure, we cope with loss of life head on. However a lot of the guide is concerning the pleasure that Zach used to have with Joe-Joe when Joe-Joe was alive and the way that connection nonetheless exists and that he can go on to get one other canine and by no means lose his connection to Joe-Joe.

Patrice Karst: I feel it’s a delicate story and I feel it’s necessary as a result of as I stated earlier than, youngsters will cope with loss of life, particularly loss of life of animals. I’ll always remember I used to be taking a hike with Eli, my son, when he was very younger. And we stumbled on a lifeless hen on our hike on the path. And I believed, oh, my God, that is my second. You already know, that is it, I’m going to have to deal with loss of life right here and talk about this with him. And the hen had a variety of ants throughout it. And Eli stopped and stated, Mommy, it’s a lifeless hen. And I stated, sure, it’s. I stated, however don’t you are concerned, honey. You already know that the hen is with God now in heaven. And he goes, Nicely, no, really, mother, the hen is with the ants. And it was it was like a type of moments that, , it simply children are so literal. And it was humorous. I imply, it was like, , I needed to, like, simply cease and chuckle and. Sure, sure, sure, you’re proper. The hen is with the ants, proper now. Nicely, however yeah, we do cope with loss of life head on. And I feel it’s necessary to do this.

Gabe Howard: That’s unimaginable. Thanks a lot for coping with ideas like grief and loss of life head on, as a result of, whether or not you cope with it head on or not, it’s frequent. We can’t keep away from it. Such as you stated on a on a stroll, you ran right into a lifeless hen. It’s additionally depicted in popular culture. You already know, even Bambi, which is a G-rated Disney film that got here out in, what, the 40s, Bambi’s mom handed away. So that is this isn’t a brand new idea. Demise is and has at all times been round us.

Patrice Karst: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: And fogeys have at all times struggled with the way to tackle it.

Patrice Karst: Proper. Proper.

Gabe Howard: So thanks.

Patrice Karst: You’re welcome. My pleasure. It’s a tragic topic, however once we understand that the invisible string or the invisible leash is actual, it turns into quite a bit much less unhappy.

Gabe Howard: Patrice, let’s say {that a} guardian got here to you and requested you the way to assist their little one cope with grief and loss. What are a number of the most necessary items of recommendation that you possibly can supply?

Patrice Karst: I might say an important factor is to let the kid discuss and actually hearken to them and encourage them to specific all their emotions and questions and fears and sorrows and to not attempt to tidy it up actual good and fast. After which let’s transfer on to one thing completely happy now. And that’s what a variety of dad and mom and adults attempt to do, as a result of grief is messy. It’s painful. And I feel they’re afraid that in the event that they spend an excessive amount of time coping with the grief, it’s going to delay the kid’s ache and agony when actually the other is true. The extra sorrow and actual they are often with their little one and provides the kid the house and the time, no matter that’s, if the kid wants to speak about it every single day, , for months on finish, that’s OK. To essentially let the kid be the information, in different phrases, and to be actual with their very own solutions again. And be at liberty to indicate their very own grief, present their very own tears, present their very own sorrows. However then to take it to the subsequent degree, in the event that they’re going to be utilizing the invisible string as a springboard. I feel an important factor in the case of grief and therapeutic grief is sure, to acknowledge that the bodily departure of that individual or that animal is actual and it’s painful and it’s horrible and it’s unhappy and it’s worthy of tears and it’s worthy of sobs and it’s worthy of feeling an vacancy within the coronary heart the place that individual was, , and their bodily presence.

Patrice Karst: However then the therapeutic comes from the belief that that individual, that animal shouldn’t be disconnected from us. That we do certainly nonetheless have a connection to that individual. And it’s now an invisible connection in that we’re not going to see that individual once more, no less than not on this lifetime. However we do nonetheless have a connection. And I feel that that’s why the invisible string is so therapeutic. And that’s the place the guardian can actually assist their little one is to assist their little one understand. Let’s take grandma, for instance. Grandma passes away and the kid is bereft due to this, that that little one nonetheless has a connection to grandma. Grandma continues to be only a hug and a tug alongside the invisible string away. And the love is ceaselessly. And as I stated earlier than, it transcends time and house. And simply because that individual’s bodily presence isn’t right here doesn’t imply that that individual’s soul can’t really feel their connection alongside the string and we are able to really feel them.

Gabe Howard: We’ll be proper again after these messages.

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Gabe Howard: We’re again discussing The Invisible String with writer Patrice Karst. One of many issues that I used to be shocked about after I was doing analysis for the present was I used to be like, wait, this guide is 20 years outdated. I usually get books which can be within the pre publishing stage or which have come out previously 12 months. Nearly no one is continues to be capable of put a guide out 20 years later and have it nonetheless have a lot relevance. And that form of varieties the premise for my subsequent query. What have you ever seen over the past 20 years from the beginning of this guide to in the present day? Has something modified or is it precisely the identical because it was 20 years in the past? Did you must replace the guide in any respect? Do the readers reply the identical manner?

Patrice Karst: Yeah. It’s been a type of true publishing miracles as a result of there was by no means any promoting for this guide after I obtained it revealed. I went to a really small writer who had by no means achieved a youngsters’s guide earlier than. Very tiny writer, no distribution. And I used to be simply grateful the guide had been revealed. And I used to be onto different initiatives. And I didn’t, fairly frankly, put an excessive amount of vitality into it. However I began getting stunning letters from readers that instructed me this guide had introduced nice consolation to them and their youngsters. And, , it offered, however not large quantities of copies. After which about seven or eight years in the past, there was a Sandy Hook guardian, not a guardian of a kid that had handed, however a survivor who had written and stated that the guide had introduced nice consolation to his daughter when so a lot of her classmates had been killed and thanked me for it. And that clearly stands proud in my thoughts. And it was proper round that point that I observed this phenomenon starting with the guide. And I don’t know what began it. It simply appeared prefer it was a sequence response. Divorce attorneys and hospitals and hospices and the navy and the jail system and foster care adoption organizations, bereavement organizations, lecturers, psychologists, therapists. The listing goes on. Abruptly the guide was blowing up like, phrase of mouth. And a type of issues each writer desires of is having your guide go viral, principally. And I wished to present the guide New Life with a Massive Writer, as a result of I knew that if all this may very well be taking place, it wasn’t even within the main chains. I imply, it actually it was

Gabe Howard: Wow.

Patrice Karst: You already know, there was no distribution. And I wished new artwork, refreshing, stunning new artwork. And by the grace of God and kismet and miracles, Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers obtained maintain of the guide they usually fell in love with it. And never solely did they fall in love with it, however by this time I had written with my coauthor, Dr. Dana Wyss, PhD, we had created the Invisible String Workbook that goes together with the invisible string and takes the guide to all new ranges with artistic actions for youths to make use of for the guide and the invisible leash and the invisible net. They usually simply purchased all of them. They usually launched the paperback final 12 months in October with attractive new artwork by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, my fantastic illustrator for all of the invisible model books. And they also put the guide out and it’s simply flown. It’s taken off. Individuals love the brand new artwork. And now it’s in each retailer, Goal and Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble and simply anyplace you may consider. And we’ve offered the Italian rights, the Korean rights, French, Spanish, Slovenian. So it’s going international. And it’s only a very, very, very thrilling time. However has something modified? No. Individuals are nonetheless individuals. Love continues to be love. Grief continues to be grief. And that’s why 20 years later, it’s like an entire nother technology. Kids that grew up with this guide are actually having youngsters of their very own. So it’s simply a tremendous, wonderful, wonderful expertise.

Gabe Howard: The factor that I really like most about that story is it years. It’s measured in years between the time that you simply wrote the guide, revealed the guide, after which it went, the phrases that you simply use had been viral.

Patrice Karst: Oh, yeah. Most likely 14. Yeah.

Gabe Howard: So many individuals are simply, is it gonna occur for me? Is what I’ve good? And, , when it doesn’t occur within the first couple of weeks or the primary couple of months, individuals surrender and also you endured. And due to that, your guide has offered properly over a half 1,000,000 copies and has spin offs. And it’s going actually, actually sturdy. I feel there’s an unimaginable lesson in there for those that are engaged on their desires. It’s

Patrice Karst: Completely.

Gabe Howard: It’s not going to occur if you wished to, however. Nevertheless it may.

Patrice Karst: All in God’s time. And if a guide or a message, in case your message is supposed to be heard, will probably be heard. This can be a phenomenon that has taken me by full shock and awe and pleasure. However I do suppose you’re proper. I feel that once we put a message on the market on the planet, it’s lower than us. You already know, it’s type of like we’ve obtained to let go of the outcomes. We had been referred to as to put in writing or create one thing. Our job is to create it and put it on the market. After which actually it’s as much as future to determine what’s going to occur with it. Our job is to place it on the market.

Gabe Howard: Precisely. I couldn’t agree extra. Let’s swap gears for a second and speak about your work with Dr. Wyss. And the rationale why is as a result of now it’s a companion workbook. You already know, it began out as a narrative and we all know that that story has helped a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals. However now you might have a workbook and this companion workbook. It lets you delve deeper into the unique books, but it surely additionally has therapeutic advantages. What are your targets for these to assist an increasing number of individuals, particularly with their psychological well being?

Patrice Karst: Nicely, that’s simply it. You already know, I had began seeing that therapists and psychologists and lecturers and caregivers everywhere in the world had been creating completely different actions to go together with the guide as a result of it simply lends itself to that. And doubtless once more, round six, seven years in the past, I obtained an e-mail from Dana. She was an artwork therapist and he or she was native to the place I reside. And he or she wrote me a lovely letter and stated that she and so many therapists she knew had been utilizing the guide and he or she was coping with drug addicted moms that had by no means bonded with their youngsters as a result of a variety of them had come from their very own abusive household conditions. And he or she was utilizing the guide to assist bridge the hole in order that they might bond with their very own youngsters. And considered one of her shoppers had created a lovely piece of artwork with the invisible string because the theme. And he or she wished to ship it to me. And I stated, properly, , you’re native, why don’t we have now lunch? And you’ll give it to me then. And we met for lunch. And he or she was so pretty and telling me about all these actions that she had created. And I stated, my god, we should always do a workbook for the invisible string.

Patrice Karst: And he or she simply jumped up and down and we had been each so excited. And so we signed on a serviette on a paper serviette within the restaurant. We signed our deal that we’d do that workbook collectively and we might cut up it 50 50. After which she went off to create many of the actions with me form of overseeing. After which Little Brown purchased the guide and stated, in fact, we would like this workbook. And by that point, Dana had grow to be a PhD in artwork remedy. However yeah, it’s obtained over 50 actions, artwork actions, journaling, puzzles, video games, artistic, wonderful, stunning actions, together with we created these attractive coloured playing cards which can be form of like affirmation playing cards that the children can pull out of the guide. They’re perforated and we’ve obtained every kind of video games and actions they’ll use these playing cards for. So it’s such a wealthy workbook and we’re getting wonderful suggestions as a result of it simply is the subsequent step. It’s wow, there’s all these ideas we’ve now defined and the invisible string. Now, how can we take it even deeper and make it much more private for every little one? So we’re very excited concerning the workbook.

Gabe Howard: I do know that you simply talked about that there have been 50 actions within the workbook. Are you able to speak about your favourite one and clarify it to our listeners?

Patrice Karst: Nicely, actually, I might say that in all probability the playing cards which can be at the back of the guide, as a result of there’s so many alternative issues that they’ll do with these playing cards, they’ll journal on every card, they’ll play video games with the cardboard. They will every day choose up a special card and discuss concerning the that means of that card. There’s one exercise the place it’s referred to as two hearts. And since an invisible string is love that travels backwards and forwards ceaselessly on these two hearts that we’ve already drawn, they’ll collage, write, or draw all the issues that they get from the person who’s on the different finish of their string after which the opposite coronary heart, they draw all of the issues that they provide to that individual. And so it’s stunning. If I used to be a toddler, which all of us are youngsters at coronary heart, I might dig deep into this workbook and have a good time doing it.

Gabe Howard: Now, this workbook, can it’s used with the dad and mom and the youngsters? Is it?

Patrice Karst: Completely. Clearly, it’s finest to have an grownup type of exhibiting the children the completely different actions and guiding them. However yeah, it’s one thing they’ll do aspect by aspect or the kid can simply do the actions all by themselves or in teams. You already know, the actions lend themselves to be achieved as group actions, too. So it’s multi-faceted.

Gabe Howard: Patrice, thanks a lot for being on the present. Do you might have any ultimate phrases or ultimate ideas for our listeners earlier than we head out?

Patrice Karst: Simply make love the primary precedence in your life. I imply, I do know that sounds cliche, but it surely’s a cliche that’s worthy. Love actually is, on the finish of the day, the one factor that issues. And if you’re lucky sufficient to have youngsters in your life in any capability, whether or not you’re a instructor, caregiver, guardian, grandparent, or you might have a neighbor that’s a toddler or in the event you ever had been a toddler. Love is the one factor that issues. And also you’re blessed to have youngsters in your life and simply unfold the love as a result of it’s actual and the invisible string is actual. And never simply, , we’ve talked quite a bit about loss of life, however the invisible string that’s proper right here and alive and whether or not we have now a finest pal that strikes throughout the nation or to a different nation or somebody like in my son’s case, why I wrote the guide. You already know, we’re gonna be separated for just a few hours or fill within the clean that the love is actual and we’re all related by invisible strings. And simply to finish the invisible net, which is the guide that’s popping out, April is basically the final word idea, which is the place all of our invisible strings join everywhere in the world. We actually are all related by invisible strings. Due to this fact, we reside in an invisible net of affection. And what I say to you has ramifications and we’re all related. There isn’t any separation between us. Probably not. We’re one huge household.

Gabe Howard: I couldn’t agree extra, Patrice. Clearly, you may get Patrice’s books, The Invisible String, The Invisible Leash, The Invisible Net and the upcoming You Are By no means Alone: An Invisible String Lullaby, together with the workbook, just about wherever books are offered, it’s very extensively accessible. However Patrice, do you might have your personal social media presence or Website that folks can discover you on?

Patrice Karst: I do. There’s The Invisible String Fb web page and my web site is And I like to get letters from my readers and my followers and I write all people again a private letter so you may contact me by the Website and let me understand how the invisible string has been transferring in your life.

Gabe Howard: Thanks, Patrice, and thanks to all of our listeners who’ve listened in. Keep in mind, wherever you downloaded this podcast, please subscribe. Additionally, give us as many bullet factors, stars or hearts as attainable and use your phrases. Inform individuals why you just like the present. Share us on social media. Keep in mind, we have now a personal Fb group that you could find on the shortcut and at all times bear in mind to assist our sponsor. You will get one week of free, handy, reasonably priced, non-public on-line counseling anytime, anyplace just by visiting We’ll see everybody subsequent week.

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