When people ask me about resources
for bereaved siblings, often what they are really saying is: Can you
make it stop hurting? When does the grief end? It makes sense that
they are hurting--the sibling relationship is often the closest and
longest lasting relationship we have. Losing a sister or brother is
like losing a big part of yourself. I have learned that we never
really get over the death of a sibling. There is no easy
way to get through the pain.
Learning about the experience of sibling loss,
however, can help to make sense of it. Educating yourself about it is the first big
step towards healing and this site can help. It includes information for
siblings who lost a brother or sister during childhood, adolescence,
or adulthood. The issues are somewhat different for each age group.
Here you will find lists of books about sibling loss, articles about
the healing process, about ongoing connectedness with deceased
siblings, and information about the long-term effects of early
There are pages here about the
sibling grief process, which I have approached in three different
ways. First is simply a page giving the theoretical stages of grief
from three different experts. The "Learn About Grief" series
explores sibling grief with movies, psychology, and other cultures.
There is information about the factors that influence the sibling
grief response and a page on "anniversary reactions," a phenomena
that is especially difficult for siblings.
The section on Creativity includes
a list of well-known individuals who experienced the early death of
a brother or sister, and I am working on producing mini-biographies
of each of them.
I want to tell you how I named this
site. To earn my doctoral degree, I carried out research on adults
who had lost siblings early in life. Many of the survivor siblings I
interviewed said they experienced an ongoing, spiritual connection
to their deceased brother or sister.
For that reason, I called this
site "The Sibling Connection."
Clearly, many surviving siblings
remember their brother or sister extremely well, (regardless of the
length of time since the death) and still found it difficult to talk
about the loss, choking up and becoming tearful when sharing the
details of their experience. I have been deeply touched by their
willingness to participate in my research in order to add to what is
known about sibling loss, and validate the significance of the loss
Please visit often, and let me
know what you think. I try to be responsive to visitors--I do listen
to your suggestions for what to include and what you would like to
hear more about. If you would be willing to have your story posted
here, please let me know. Visitors tell me that this is very helpful
Pleasant Gill White,