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Death or Loss of a Sibling

The death or loss of a sibling is a devastating loss regardless of age or manner of death. Siblings are formative in helping us learn how to deal with our emotions, problem-solve, and behave with others—and losing them can be an unfathomable event that seems impossible to heal from. The grief that an individual experiences when their sibling passes away can often be neglected or not understood to be as severe as the parents’ grief. However, the loss of a brother or sister during the teenage years is shown to impact an individual's future relationships and even career paths, and the loss at any age can shake up family dynamics for the long term. Whether sudden and unforeseen or prolonged and expected, losing a sibling can have a profound and long-lasting impact.

Loss of a Sibling

While everyone will experience the loss of a loved one at some time in his or her life, and no loss is easy, losing a brother or sister is especially difficult because of the bond formed between siblings. More research and attention is now being placed on the sibling grieving experience.

A Complicated Burden

There was nothing Sandy Boucher could have done to prevent the tragedy. Yet decade after decade, she has carried the burden of guilt. This is a meditation on living with what cannot be undone.

Losing Two Siblings to Suicide

I grew up with mental illness in my family. I was the youngest of four siblings — Joan, Victor, Barbara and I — in a Syrian Jewish household. When I was young, Victor and Joan both died by suicide. These losses had, and continue to have, a profound impact on my life.

Grieving the Death of a Sibling

The other day I asked our Facebook community to suggest resources for people who’ve experienced the death of a sibling. Although some were able to make recommendations, many were quick to point out their struggle to find help and support for their loss.

The Death of a Sibling Changes Everything

In our NYC therapy practice, we treat patients who have to deal with the many changes that come with grieving the loss of a sibling.

The Loss of a Lifetime: When an Adult Brother or Sister Dies

What did it mean that there were no handbooks for me? That people asked me to be strong in the face of the biggest loss I'd ever experienced or imagined? At times I felt like I didn't deserve to feel so shattered, especially in the shadow of my parents' immense loss.

Dealing with the Death of a Sibling: 10 Tips for Getting Through

The loss of any close family member can be a heart-wrenching experience, but it is a very unique experience when you lose a sibling.

When a Sibling Dies

The plight of siblings who have lost a major part of their life.

Grieving the Loss of a Sibling

Grief is a normal response to the loss of a brother or sister. But adult siblings are sometimes called "forgotten mourners" because their grief is often overshadowed by the grief of other family members, such as the person’s parents, spouse, or children.

When a Sibling Dies by Suicide

Samantha recounts the grief she experienced after losing her brother to suicide.

WHAT MIGHT HELP

The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.

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Grief