More on Sibling Grief

I found myself surfing from one website to another. There is so much information shared that I thought it would be a good idea to provide links to the site I find on sibling grief. Not all the sites are related to suicide, but grief is grief and I know sibling loss must be as devastating as child loss.

This is a War – Grief – When adults lose a sibling, they often feel abandoned by society. The sympathy goes to their parents, but brothers and sisters are supposed to “get over it” quickly so they can comfort the parents or replace the lost sibling. This is one of the reasons why adult sibling loss falls into the category of “disenfranchised grief”.

Teen Sibling Loss – You can’t imagine life without your brother or sister. Your whole world has changed and you don’t know what to do. It seems like you have no control over your life anymore. Things have changed and you just want things to go back to the way they were before.

When a Brother or Sister Dies – In a world suddenly gone crazy, how can you keep your balance? How can you cope with something that is shattering to you as well as to those adults closest to you in your world? We hope this brochure offers you some directions and some choices in order to help you find your way in a world that has changed in ways you never expected it to.

Surviving my Sister’s Suicide – As a survivor of my sister’s suicide, what became clear to me is the importance of telling one’s story as part of the grieving process. This process is too often shrouded by stigma and silenced by shame. I write this article at this intense time of year with the hope that by sharing my story and talking about suicide openly, you might learn a little bit more about suicide, which might help you assist someone in distress and guide you to save their life.

Sibling Grief

Recently, I was asked if I knew of any blogs written by siblings. Unfortunately, I don’t, but when I looked for other websites that might be helpful, I came up with these and thought I’d link to them here too.

The Sibling Connection – Michelle Linn-Gust is the author of Do They Have Good Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling She writes here about what it was like for her to be in college and have to cope with the death of her sister, Denise. Her story is one of hope for all bereaved siblings. If you look in the side bar you’ll find links to other sibling’s stories too.

Suicide – a different kind of grief – “We have found him, I’m sorry.” I heard the words. It felt like a nuclear explosion inside. Suddenly normality was shattered. The psychical and physical pain was unbearable. Many people don’t think of depression as a serious disease. Well, they are wrong. My brother chose death over life.

In Loving Memory of Todd E. Mills – This wonderful tribute to Todd was created by his sister Lori. The story within these pages is immensely inspiring and may be a help to those who are enduring the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Reflection – Grief from a siblings perspective.

Online Support Groups

Learning to live again after the tragic death of a child must be the hardest grief of all. If you have lost a child, and you think you might benefit by joining an online support group, then why not take a look at one of the ones below.

Please note, that I do not recommend any of them, because I am not a member of them. However, I do belong to a Parent of Suicide group and have found it to be a place of comfort and hope. Only those who have been where you are now, truly know what you’re going through.

The blurb next to the link was not written by me, the wording was taken directly from the groups’ home pages.

Loss of a Child Support Group – This Group is for all who have had a child die no matter when, where or how. The grief is still the same when you out live your child, no matter how old they were.

Mourning the Loss of a Child Support Group – This is a place of understanding. Here we can share our grief with people who have the same thing in common, a horrid loss, unnatural loss, the loss of a child. Day to day coping with this loss is the hardest way of life, because that is what it is…a way of life that we have to learn how to live with. Something you can’t do alone. I know, I’ve tried.

Heavenly Buddies Support Group – This is a circle of new and old friends from around the world who have all experienced the loss of a child. Our children have left this earth in different ways and at different times and ages, but they have not left our hearts, and in this group we share our lost hopes for their futures, our dreams and concerns for our futures, memories and poems, and support for each other.

We also share information of support, grief and trauma resources, quotes that help sustain us during our darkest days and respect for each others’ beliefs.

Email Support Group for Parents

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I am a member of an email support group. In fact, I originally joined two groups that I didn’t find helpful. They were for bereavement in general, but I felt like I was on another planet to everyone else. No one could relate to me and I couldn’t relate to them. I left both these groups.

Then I found this group – Parents Grieving Children of Suicide. As the name suggests, this group is for parents only. Every single member has lost a child to suicide. It’s amazing how the words from another person, who has experienced the exact thing you have, can make a difference.

I read their stories, and feel astonished that so many sons have taken their own lives. Of course, girls do it too, but the boys out number the girls by a long shot. It breaks my heart to learn that suicide doesn’t always stop with the first person who does it either. Other people often follow in their footsteps. Everyone is at risk, and they should take extra care of themselves and their family.

This email group is a friendly, supportive community. If you are a parent to a child who has died by suicide, then I urge you to join the group. You won’t be sorry.

Contacts for the UK

Here are a couple of websites for people living in the UK. The organisations can offer information and support for people who are depressed and suicidal, and for their friends and families.

Childline:
ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK. Children and young people can call them to talk about any problem – their counsellors are always there to help you sort it out.

Depression Alliance:
This web site contains information about the symptoms and treatments of depression. They work to relieve and to prevent this treatable condition by providing information and support services. They also campaign to raise awareness amongst the general public about the realities of depression.

Papyrus – Prevention of Young Suicide:
PAPYRUS is a UK charity committed to suicide prevention, focusing predominantly on the emotional well-being of children, teenagers and young adults. They offer the general public and professionals alike, the requisite resources and support to help prevent suicide and improve mental health in young people. While preventing youth suicide is their primary focus, their concern in preventing suicide encompasses all age groups.

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends can be found in USA, UK, Australia, Canada and many other countries.

When grieving, it helps to know that you are not alone in what you are feeling. I am finding that I want to read about other parents who have lost a child in the same way I have. It’s sad, but it does help, because it makes me see that I’m not going insane and that there will be relief from the pain eventually.

There are online brochures, with titles such as “When A Brother or Sister Dies”, “Surviving Your Child’s Suicide”, “Understanding Grief When a Grandchild Dies”, and more. I hope you find them helpful.