Sunday, October 11, 2015

Grief Over a Sibling's Death

You never think it can happen to your perfect family. And then it does. How do sibling’s grieve and what are some paths or directions you can follow or have your parents talk to you about. Parents need also to understand how your grief is different from theirs.

Like every other kind of grief, it will take time to work through it. Everyone’s grief is unique. No two people or siblings grieve alike, so it may take you and your other loved ones different time indicators to work through your feelings of loss or hurt. If you were very close to the one who died, it could take you longer than other family members.

During the initial loss, you may feel anger at the sibling for leaving you, sleep disturbances, tiredness or restlessness at times, trouble paying attention, mood swings, feelings of rejection from parents who are irritable or distracted, or guilt.

Guilt can be complicated if you feel you have done something to cause the death or that you should have been able to stop what happened. On the other hand, you may feel guilty for having a good time or laughing too soon after your sibling’s death, and even for just surviving. All of these things can be talked over with others who understand.

You and your sibling may have been very close and had a unique relationship. Other members of your family may not understand your feelings of love and loss, and you may feel you can’t talk to them. If this is the case, seek out a friend, relative, teacher, counselor, minister or another bereaved brother or sister. They can offer advice on how to move forward. But also be patient with your parents. They are suffering also.

Know that it is okay to cry and feel depressed after such a loss. On the other hand, it is okay to laugh and have a good time with friends. You are not dishonoring your sibling either way.

You may want to live in the past for a while remembering all that you have lost, but don’t forget to continue to move on with your life. Forgive yourself for any fights you had together or mean things you said to each other that were never resolved.

Never think that doing drugs or alcohol is the answer to your grief. You are only hurting yourself when you do this. The same is true when you do things out of anger and don’t really mean them. Don’t fight with your parents; talk to them and let them see how badly you are hurting.

Share your feelings with other bereaved siblings you know or at a workshop or conference. How they coped can give you ideas for your own life.

Always remember you are not alone. Many siblings have struggled through feelings similar to yours. Allow the emotional bond you had with your sibling and your other siblings have a positive effect on your future. They have survived and so can you.

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