Forever In My Heart Friday. FIMHF. Week 34.. Losing a child is definitely the “worst loss”, but losing a sibling has a special grief all its own. I grew up as an only child. It was a totally different environment then what I was prepared to experience when I had children of my own. But I knew from the moment I had Myesha, that I did not want her to be an only child. I was often envious of my friends and cousins who had a sibling because they were never really alone. I’ll never forget the day Chloe was born. Myesha was so excited at the thought of having a baby sister. She made a name tag to wear that said “Dr. Reed”. (Yes, I still have it) She stood by my side thought the labor process at the young age of 5 and kept telling me to “breath” as each contraction came. She was only made to leave the room for a short time as her sister arrived and from that moment on both of their lives were forever changed. Sisters for Life.
A Sibling relationship is the one relationship that can truly last an entire lifetime. They help make us who we are. Their death affects us in ways you could never imagine. Our siblings are our confidants, playmates, supporters, sources of frustration; sources from which we learn to navigate confrontation, anger, and even repair relationships. You cannot possibly realize how much influence your sibling has on your day-to-day life or how many small things you love about your sibling until they are no longer in your life. Siblings define our past, are key in our “evolution” of our identity, and they know all of the intricacies of our families. We learn how to navigate emotions and interact with others and the world partly through our sibling relationships. Our siblings saw us in the best of times and in the worst.. In an instant your world changed when your brother or sister died. In an instant, your entire family changed forever. The world as we know it seems to stop, and the crumbling inside our hearts can feel paralyzing.
Reliving aspects of the person’s death or having intrusive thoughts, for example, experiencing nightmares about the death, not being able to stop thinking about how the person died, imagining how much the person suffered, or imagining rescuing the person and reversing the outcome. The death of someone special can be very difficult and sad for a child or teen, but when it is a sibling who dies, the family faces a unique set of challenges The child takes on a different role within the family and the world as a sibling survivor. The most common answers were not being able to say goodbye, taking them for granted and assuming they’d always be here, not saying how much they loved their brother/sister, not spending more time with them, fighting too much, not being able to do something to prevent the death, We may also feel guilty about conflicts with our deceased loved one; things we said or did that, now, we wish we could take back.
They are the forgotten grievers. Not many people realize just how hard it is to lose a sibling. Siblings often have very complicated relationships. No one who hasn’t experienced it can understand how it changes your life and how it really affects you. Everyone’s grief is different and as unique as each one of us and our relationship with our sibling, and yet having lost a sibling connects us in a way no one who hasn’t been there could ever understand