The Magic Soccer Ball


The Magic Soccer Ball tells the story about Ernest, a little boy who comes home from school one day to find his big brother Leslie has disappeared. When he learns that Leslie has died, it unravels all sorts of questions and painful emotions. But Ernest has to learn that life carries on and so must he, because that is what Leslie would have wanted.   If we as adults struggle to comprehend the complexities of losing a loved one, then imagine the turmoil it creates in the mind of a child. Add to the mix the absolute chaos from adults’ reactions going on all around them. All human beings take the first and last breath exactly the same as we enter and depart our life. Life itself doesn’t distinguish between our country of origin, our religion, the colour of our skin, our social status, age or gender. When we lose someone we love we feel a multitude of emotions, shock, extreme pain, confusion and loneliness. How can it be someone we love so dearly can just evaporate into thin air? It’s complex, is it not? We just don’t like talking about it. Talking about death doesn’t make us feel very good and it scares us, so we avoid it. Avoiding it has lifelong implications for our mental wellbeing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve but grieve we must. If we don’t it sits deep within us, robbing us at every corner of our lives of the joy and happiness so much of life can bring. This story is based on what happened to me as a twelve year old child. My much-loved brother Gavin got off the school bus, rode away on his bicycle and I never saw him again. I have created this story as a resource for grieving children. Through this, I hope they find some small way to keep hold of their loved ones while at the same time letting them go.