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.

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.

Grieving the Death of a Sibling

One of the great losses in life is the death of a brother or sister, and many of us will face the loss of a sibling more than once. Yet this is one of the most neglected types of grief, especially in adulthood.

Grief After the Death of a Sibling

The impact of the death of a person in some relationships does not always receive the attention it deserves. Siblings are often referred to as the “forgotten grievers.”

6 Ways to Help Kids Grieve When a Sibling Dies

Studies tell us that when a sibling passes away during childhood, it can have a profound impact on surviving children.


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