For Siblings From Siblings
“The Invisible String”

“The Invisible String”

The Creative Arts Therapists and Child Life Specialists on the Sibling Support Team at Friends of Karen often use books in our sessions with ill children and their siblings to educate about illnesses, model feelings and provide insight and comfort through storytelling. Bibliotherapy is a favorite tool which is often used in tandem with art making and play.

“The Invisible String” written by Patrice Karst is one of the most well loved books in our bag of tricks. This best selling picture book tells the story of unbreakable connections between loved ones. A key goal when working with families is acting as a bridge for connection and communication. Cancer and other serious illnesses that Friends of Karen families face can be a major barrier to family connection- physical separation during treatments and hospitalization, overwhelming emotions, changes in daily routines, confusion and even jealousy all contribute to these struggles. The idea that is conveyed so beautifully and simply in the book is that our hearts are always connected to those we love. It is a theme that we come back to often when working with Friends of Karen children, one that brings comfort in times of change, separation and sometimes bereavement.

Positive relationships are a strength, they increase self esteem and self worth and improve our quality of life. Utilizing this book and idea along with many different creative activities in sessions help children identify their support systems. Please read below for a poem compiled with the words of Friends of Karen children, inspired by “The Invisible String” and the season of love:

Our hearts are connected

Our hearts are connected
Our hearts are full
Our hearts are strong
Our hearts are big and loving
Our hearts are sometimes sad and can feel broken

Our hearts are connected to…

Our moms and dads
Brothers and sisters
Nanny and Poppy
Grandma and Grandpa
Bubbe, Mimi and Pa
Our pets- fluffy dogs and tiny axolotls
Good friends, best friends
Old friends and new friends
Places that feel like home
The beach or our kitchen table
Songs that make us want to sing along and dance
Art that expresses how we feel
Food that tastes like love
Our hearts are full of love, love, love