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Podcast: Serving to Kids Grieve

Podcast: Helping Children Grieve

When youngsters expertise the deep ache of separation or dying, it may be extraordinarily therapeutic to be taught they’re nonetheless linked to their family members by an invisible string of affection. That’s the premise of the kids’s ebook The Invisible String, written by Patrice Karst, right now’s visitor on the Psych Central podcast. Patrice sits down to speak with Gabe about what sparked her concept for scripting this traditional ebook in addition to her subsequent books, together with The Invisible Leash, a narrative to assist youngsters take care of 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 a part of us to listen to Patrice’s unimaginable writing journey and in regards to the many lives who’ve been touched by her books on loss, grief and the everlasting connection of affection.


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

Patrice Karst is the bestselling creator 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 Simple, and The Single Mom’s Survival Information. She is enthusiastic about 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 creator of the favored ebook, Psychological Sickness is an Asshole and different Observations, obtainable from Amazon; signed copies are additionally obtainable immediately from the creator. To be taught extra about Gabe, please go to his web site,

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

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

Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, the place visitor consultants within the area of psychology and psychological well being share thought-provoking data 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 right now, we’ve got Patrice Karst, who’s one of the best promoting creator 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: Effectively, I’m very enthusiastic about this. It’s a youngsters’s ebook on some large ideas, proper? And may you form of clarify what your books are about for our listeners?

Patrice Karst: Yeah, once I wrote the ebook, 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 suppose 5 or so, was in kindergarten and can be actually unhappy once I was a single working mother. And once I introduced him to highschool, he would cry as a result of he had separation anxiousness actually badly and didn’t need me to go away. After which I’d cry and it was a multitude. So I began telling him in regards to the invisible string that linked 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 anxiousness stopped. He was like, there actually is an invisible string? And I mentioned, Yeah. After which all of his buddies needed to listen to it. And I knew I had one thing fairly particular. And that’s once I went to a writer, wrote it as a narrative and acquired it printed. However I suppose within the easiest phrases, my books are about love and our connections to 1 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 concept. And I feel that’s why youngsters simply actually, actually acquired it that, oh, that is what love is. It’s an invisible string.

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

Patrice Karst: Thanks.

Gabe Howard: Are you able to describe what the ebook seems to be like?

Patrice Karst: It’s a youngsters’s ebook, however a part of what has been the wonderful miracle in regards to the ebook is that adults purchase it for one another, spouses, grownup youngsters for his or her grownup dad and mom, beloved buddies. You already know, it’s form of a youngsters’s ebook that spans all ages from 2 to 102. Personally, I feel that if we by no means learn one other grownup ebook ever and simply learn youngsters’s books, we’d in all probability be taught every part we ever wanted to essentially be taught since you don’t want plenty of phrases. The truth is, I feel generally the much less phrases the higher to essentially perceive issues on a deeper stage.

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

Patrice Karst: Apparently, once I wrote, it was essential to me that the idea that this invisible string that may attain everywhere in the planet, that might transcend time and area would additionally have the ability to go to our beloved ones which are now not right here on the earthly airplane. And so I take advantage of the phrase heaven as that phrase. So in your complete ebook, 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 dying as a result of, oh, it’s a child’s ebook and we don’t wish to discuss dying and use the phrase heaven. And my comeback, as a result of it was tremendous essential to me is that youngsters are going to face dying, whether or not it’s their guinea pig, their hamster, goldfish, a grandparent. They hear about dying on the information. You already know, dying is one thing that’s a part of life. And the earlier we are able to deal with 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 non secular 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 ebook, as a result of the ebook will not be about grief. The ebook is about love and connection and the way we’re all the time linked it doesn’t matter what. However due to that one web page. It has turn into the primary ebook for kids to take care of dying and dying. And it has turn into an enormous grief ebook utilized by bereavement organizations everywhere in the world and hospices and hospitals. And also you identify it, as a result of what might be a more true assertion and what might be a extra comforting idea than to appreciate that people who we love which are 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 dying head on in The Invisible Leash. Large 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 speak explicitly about dying.

Patrice Karst: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: The dying of a pet.

Patrice Karst: Sure. You already know, I had gotten so many letters over time from those who mentioned we’ve used the invisible string to assist our youngster take care of the dying of their cat or their canine. Have you ever ever thought of writing a ebook that may be particularly in regards to the lack of an animal? And that’s why I did it, as a result of I assumed it was essential for there to be even a separate ebook immediately about animals. However sure, we take care of dying head on. However we additionally take care of love head on. The 2 essential characters are Emily and Zach, and Emily misplaced her cat and Zach misplaced his canine. And these two buddies take a meandering stroll by way of the neighborhood the place they start discussing their beloved animals. And in Zach’s case, how a lot ache Zach remains to be in. Though Emily has now dealt together 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, effectively, the place is that this nice past? I don’t consider 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 take care of dying head on. However a lot of the ebook is in regards to 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 essential as a result of as I mentioned earlier than, youngsters will take care of dying, particularly dying 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 fowl on our hike on the path. And I assumed, oh, my God, that is my second. You already know, that is it, I’m going to have to handle dying right here and talk about this with him. And the fowl had plenty of ants throughout it. And Eli stopped and mentioned, Mommy, it’s a lifeless fowl. And I mentioned, sure, it’s. I mentioned, however don’t you are concerned, honey. You already know that the fowl is with God now in heaven. And he goes, Effectively, no, really, mother, the fowl is with the ants. And it was it was like a kind of moments that, , it simply youngsters are so literal. And it was humorous. I imply, it was like, , I needed to, like, simply cease and snicker and. Sure, sure, sure, you’re proper. The fowl is with the ants, proper now. Effectively, however yeah, we do take care of dying head on. And I feel it’s essential to do this.

Gabe Howard: That’s unimaginable. Thanks a lot for coping with ideas like grief and dying head on, as a result of, whether or not you take care of it head on or not, it’s widespread. We can’t keep away from it. Such as you mentioned on a on a stroll, you ran right into a lifeless fowl. 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. Loss of life is and has all the time been round us.

Patrice Karst: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: And fogeys have all the time struggled with deal with 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 lots much less unhappy.

Gabe Howard: Patrice, let’s say {that a} mum or dad got here to you and requested you assist their youngster take care of grief and loss. What are among the most essential items of recommendation that you can supply?

Patrice Karst: I’d say an important factor is to let the kid speak 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 comfortable now. And that’s what plenty 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 lengthen the kid’s ache and agony when actually the alternative is true. The extra sorrow and actual they are often with their youngster and provides the kid the area and the time, no matter that’s, if the kid wants to speak about it daily, , for months on finish, that’s OK. To actually let the kid be the information, in different phrases, and to be actual with their very own solutions again. And be happy to point out their very own grief, present their very own tears, present their very own sorrows. However then to take it to the following stage, in the event that they’re going to be utilizing the invisible string as a springboard. I feel an important factor with regards to grief and therapeutic grief is sure, to acknowledge that the bodily departure of that particular person 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 particular person was once, , and their bodily presence.

Patrice Karst: However then the therapeutic comes from the belief that that particular person, that animal will not be disconnected from us. That we do certainly nonetheless have a connection to that particular person. And it’s now an invisible connection in that we’re not going to see that particular person once more, at the least 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 mum or dad can actually assist their youngster is to assist their youngster understand. Let’s take grandma, for instance. Grandma passes away and the kid is bereft due to this, that that youngster nonetheless has a connection to grandma. Grandma remains to be only a hug and a tug alongside the invisible string away. And the love is without end. And as I mentioned earlier than, it transcends time and area. And simply because that particular person’s bodily presence isn’t right here doesn’t imply that that particular person’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.

Sponsor Message: Hey people, Gabe right here. I host one other podcast for Psych Central. It’s referred to as Not Loopy. He hosts Not Loopy with me, Jackie Zimmerman, and it’s all about navigating our lives with psychological sickness and psychological well being considerations. Hear now at Psych or in your favourite podcast participant.

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Gabe Howard: We’re again discussing The Invisible String with creator Patrice Karst. One of many issues that I used to be stunned about once I was doing analysis for the present was I used to be like, wait, this ebook is 20 years previous. I typically get books which are within the pre publishing stage or which have come out previously yr. Virtually no one is remains to be in a position to put a ebook out 20 years later and have it nonetheless have a lot relevance. And that form of types the idea for my subsequent query. What have you ever seen over the past 20 years from the beginning of this ebook to right now? Has something modified or is it precisely the identical because it was 20 years in the past? Did you must replace the ebook in any respect? Do the readers reply the identical method?

Patrice Karst: Yeah. It’s been a kind of true publishing miracles as a result of there was by no means any promoting for this ebook once I acquired it printed. I went to a really small writer who had by no means completed a youngsters’s ebook earlier than. Very tiny writer, no distribution. And I used to be simply grateful the ebook had been printed. And I used to be onto different initiatives. And I didn’t, fairly frankly, put an excessive amount of power into it. However I began getting stunning letters from readers that advised me this ebook had introduced nice consolation to them and their youngsters. And, , it bought, however not large quantities of copies. After which about seven or eight years in the past, there was a Sandy Hook mum or dad, not a mum or dad of a kid that had handed, however a survivor who had written and mentioned that the ebook had introduced nice consolation to his daughter when so lots of her classmates had been killed and thanked me for it. And that clearly stands out in my thoughts. And it was proper round that point that I observed this phenomenon starting with the ebook. And I don’t know what began it. It simply appeared prefer it was a series response. Divorce attorneys and hospitals and hospices and the army and the jail system and foster care adoption organizations, bereavement organizations, academics, psychologists, therapists. The listing goes on. Unexpectedly the ebook was blowing up like, phrase of mouth. And a kind of issues each creator goals of is having your ebook go viral, principally. And I needed to present the ebook New Life with a Large Writer, as a result of I knew that if all this might be occurring, 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 needed new artwork, refreshing, stunning new artwork. And by the grace of God and kismet and miracles, Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers acquired maintain of the ebook 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 ebook to all new ranges with artistic actions for teenagers to make use of for the ebook and the invisible leash and the invisible internet. They usually simply purchased all of them. They usually launched the paperback final yr in October with beautiful new artwork by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, my great illustrator for all of the invisible model books. And they also put the ebook 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 wherever you’ll be able to consider. And we’ve bought the Italian rights, the Korean rights, French, Spanish, Slovenian. So it’s going world. And it’s only a very, very, very thrilling time. However has something modified? No. Individuals are nonetheless individuals. Love remains to be love. Grief remains to be grief. And that’s why 20 years later, it’s like a complete nother era. Kids that grew up with this ebook at the moment are 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 ebook, printed the ebook, after which it went, the phrases that you simply use had been viral.

Patrice Karst: Oh, yeah. In all probability 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 hand over and also you endured. And due to that, your ebook has bought effectively over a half one million copies and has spin offs. And it’s going actually, actually robust. I feel there’s an unimaginable lesson in there for those that are engaged on their goals. It’s

Patrice Karst: Completely.

Gabe Howard: It’s not going to occur once you needed to, however. However it may.

Patrice Karst: All in God’s time. And if a ebook or a message, in case your message is supposed to be heard, it is going to 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 form of like we’ve acquired 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 change gears for a second and discuss 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 lots of of 1000’s of individuals. However now you have got 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 objectives for these to assist an increasing number of individuals, particularly with their psychological well being?

Patrice Karst: Effectively, that’s simply it. You already know, I had began seeing that therapists and psychologists and academics and caregivers everywhere in the world had been creating completely different actions to go together with the ebook as a result of it simply lends itself to that. And possibly once more, round six, seven years in the past, I acquired an e-mail from Dana. She was an artwork therapist and he or she was native to the place I reside. And she or he wrote me an exquisite letter and mentioned that she and so many therapists she knew had been utilizing the ebook and he or she was coping with drug addicted moms that had by no means bonded with their youngsters as a result of plenty of them had come from their very own abusive household conditions. And she or he was utilizing the ebook to assist bridge the hole in order that they might bond with their very own youngsters. And one in every of her purchasers had created an exquisite piece of artwork with the invisible string because the theme. And she or he needed to ship it to me. And I mentioned, effectively, , you’re native, why don’t we’ve got lunch? And you may give it to me then. And we met for lunch. And she or he was so beautiful and telling me about all these actions that she had created. And I mentioned, my god, we must always do a workbook for the invisible string.

Patrice Karst: And she or he 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 might do that workbook collectively and we’d break 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 ebook and mentioned, after all, we would like this workbook. And by that point, Dana had turn into a PhD in artwork remedy. However yeah, it’s acquired over 50 actions, artwork actions, journaling, puzzles, video games, artistic, wonderful, stunning actions, together with we created these beautiful coloured playing cards which are form of like affirmation playing cards that the children can pull out of the ebook. They’re perforated and we’ve acquired every kind of video games and actions they will 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 following 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 youngster? So we’re very excited in regards to 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 discuss your favourite one and clarify it to our listeners?

Patrice Karst: Effectively, truthfully, I’d say that in all probability the playing cards which are at the back of the ebook, as a result of there’s so many various issues that they will do with these playing cards, they will journal on every card, they will play video games with the cardboard. They’ll every day choose up a special card and speak in regards to 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 without end on these two hearts that we’ve already drawn, they will collage, write, or draw the entire 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 offer to that particular person. And so it’s stunning. If I used to be a toddler, which all of us are youngsters at coronary heart, I’d 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 kids? Is it?

Patrice Karst: Completely. Clearly, it’s finest to have an grownup form of displaying the children the completely different actions and guiding them. However yeah, it’s one thing they will 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 completed as group actions, too. So it’s multi-faceted.

Gabe Howard: Patrice, thanks a lot for being on the present. Do you have got any last phrases or last 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, mum or dad, grandparent, or you have got a neighbor that’s a toddler or when 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 lots about dying, however the invisible string that’s proper right here and alive and whether or not we’ve got 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 ebook. You already know, we’re gonna be separated for a couple of hours or fill within the clean that the love is actual and we’re all linked by invisible strings. And simply to finish the invisible internet, which is the ebook that’s popping out, April is admittedly the last word idea, which is the place all of our invisible strings join everywhere in the world. We actually are all linked by invisible strings. Subsequently, we reside in an invisible internet of affection. And what I say to you has ramifications and we’re all linked. There is no such thing as a separation between us. Probably not. We’re one large household.

Gabe Howard: I couldn’t agree extra, Patrice. Clearly, you will 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 bought, it’s very broadly obtainable. However Patrice, do you have got your personal social media presence or Web page 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 everyone again a private letter so you’ll be able to contact me by way of the Web page and let me understand how the invisible string has been shifting in your life.

Gabe Howard: Thanks, Patrice, and thanks to all of our listeners who’ve listened in. Bear in mind, wherever you downloaded this podcast, please subscribe. Additionally, give us as many bullet factors, stars or hearts as doable and use your phrases. Inform individuals why you just like the present. Share us on social media. Bear in mind, we’ve got a personal Fb group that you could find on the shortcut and all the time keep in mind to help our sponsor. You will get one week of free, handy, inexpensive, personal on-line counseling anytime, wherever just by visiting We are going to see everybody subsequent week.

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