When A Girl I Cared For Died, I Couldn’t Let Her Brother Move Away Without Something To Remember Her By

I supported foster carers with a little girl named Sarah, who was four years old. Her younger brother was three and in a separate foster placement. Sarah had a brain tumour and was nearing the end of her life when her foster family was referred to Rainbow Trust.

The foster carers wanted me to take her out and let her have as much fun as she could with the time she had left. Sarah was such a chatty, adorable little girl and very head strong. The only place she ever wanted to go was soft play, although I did manage to get her swimming once.

I met her brother briefly and I could see how much they loved each other – she talked about him all the time.

Both sets of foster parents worked together to make sure the pair got to spend plenty of quality time together. Sarah’s foster carers even took her brother to Disneyland Paris with them all to let him make some special memories with her. They also made a photo book for him.

After Sarah died, her little brother was adopted.

I really felt for this little boy – he had to deal with two massive changes in his life; the death of his sister and moving to a new home. Even though it was positive that he’d been adopted, the bond between him and his sister was very special and her death would have been very hard for him.

When a child dies, Rainbow Trust is given one piece of jewellery with fingerprints or handprints on, funded by a local charity. So, I had some jewellery made for Sarah’s foster carers but I couldn’t stop thinking about her little brother who had lost his big sister (they were like twins) and he was moving to the other side of the country away from all he had known.

I approached the charity and asked if we could have a second piece of jewellery funded on this occasion and it was agreed. I had a set of cuff links made for Sarah’s brother with her fingerprint on. I arranged for these to be given to his new adoptive parents so that when he is older and told about his life, he could be given the cuff links and take comfort from the fact that he had a piece of Sarah that he could treasure forever, along with the memories he had of her.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness make the most of their time together. We provide expert practical and emotional support, where they need it, for as long as it is needed

Rainbow Trust is a national charity providing expert practical and emotional support to families, where they need it, to help them make the most of each new day. It relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thanks to the generosity of its supporters, helps over 2,300 families through its nine care teams in England.

Please visit rainbowtrust.org.uk for more information.

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