The Hemlock Tree Elf
Once upon a time there was a very grand and very old hemlock tree in the middle of a wide thick forest. In this hemlock tree lived a community of elves, whose entire world is centered on the tree. They knew and understood the cycle of life: that trees grow old and eventually die, making room for younger trees. But they were not prepared when one of the younger tree elves begins to thin. As the young elf approaches the threshold to ‘the other side,’ the community of elves gather around him and his family to offer support during this process.
This is a story of community coming together to “hold the light”, as all the elves – young and old – experience this fundamental and monumental moment together.
Through this story, the child will have permission to feel fully all the feelings that come with loss, without the need to make sense of them. The strongest images in the story are those of the elf community, as they offer light and warmth to the individuals, the tree and the entire forest.