By Dr. Kumari Valentine
This past weekend, it was my daughter’s 4th birthday; my precious beautiful girl who was born sleeping. I baked a cake, as I do every year, but this year, I had two little boys to celebrate their sister’s birthday with me.Â Even before the boys were born, I had consciously decided that I wanted them to know that they have a sister and to know their sister’s name. Stories, as I’ve written before, offer us a powerful way to communicate information that is otherwise difficult. Here is a story that I wrote for my two boys.
Once upon a time there were two wonderful brothers named B and A. They had a beautiful sister named Chippie who they had never seen. One day, B and A decided to go and look for her. They packed a bag full of food for their BIG journey. They had raisins, and blueberries, and cake, and bananas, and ice-cream in their bag. They packed their bag and headed off.
First they came to a daaaaaark, daaaaaaark, forest.
“I’m scared,” said A.
“Don’t worry,” said B, “you can hold my hand.”
A felt braver when he held B’s hand. They continued to walk down the daaaaark, daaaaark, forest.
“I wonder where Chippie is?” said A.
B saw a little Bird on a tree. “Why don’t we ask this little Bird?” said B.Â The two boys looked at the Bird.
The Bird chirped and said “When you hear the wind in the trees, you will hear your sister.”
The boys listened very, very, carefully and heard the wind gently blowing through the daaark daaaark forest.
“Let’s find where the wind comes from!” said A, “Maybe that’s where Chippie is!”
The two boys followed the sound of the wind.
Presently, they came to a beautiful clearing. There were lots of beautiful flowers there. The two brothers saw a Rabbit eating some grass.
“Can you tell us where our sister is?” they asked.
The Rabbit stopped eating his grass and was very thoughtful. “When you feel the sun on your face, you will feel her smiling,” he said.
The two boys thought this was very curious.
“Maybe if we follow the sunshine, we will find her,” said B.
The two boys had some cake and kept walking.
They came to a deep blue river. They saw a Frog sitting nearby, sunning himself.
“Hello Mr Frog,” said A, “Do you know where our sister is?”
The Frog cleared his throat. “Look in the water,” he said, “and you will see her.”
The two boys looked in the river and saw their reflections. This is very strange, they thought.
They had walked so far that they had come back home. Their mummy was so pleased to see them.
“Where have you been, my beautiful boys?” she asked.
“We’ve been trying to find Chippie,” they said. “We heard her in the wind, we felt her smile in the sunshine, and we saw her in our reflections, but we still don’t know where she is!”
Their mummy smiled and gave them a HUGE hug.
“I love you, my two boys,” she said, “Chippie is in all those places and, she is in the most important place of all: your heart.”
Dr Kumari Valentine has a PhD and is a registered clinical psychologist who is passionate about using psychological theory to help people change their lives for the better.
Dr Kumari’s personal experiences with complicated pregnancies and pregnancy-related grief are woven with her experiences of teaching mindfulness and working with those who have experienced stress and trauma.