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The Loss of a Child: Siblings

Last week I spoke about the loss of a child but what if that child who crossed over had siblings? Parents grieve in one way and siblings grieve in another. At a time of deep grief, how do the siblings feel parenting from parents who are lost in their own grief?

Going through the loss of a child can be very difficult for parents and siblings. Yet it can be very difficult for them to “share” in the loss. The parents may be feeling one set of emotions while the siblings may be feeling differently. Parents may feel the helplessness of not being able to protect the lost child. They may feel an emptiness that is unique to mother or father. They may feel a devastation that erupts from letting the child free into life only to now endure their crossing over. They may feel the loss of the dreams they had tied to that child. The list goes on.

The siblings, on the other hand, may have feelings of having lost a best friend, or a part of their self. They may feel guilt for surviving or for not getting along with their sibling. They may feel a loss of their own dream because their family is shattered.

Parents may lean heavily on one another to make it through the grief. Thereby, inadvertently, creating a cocoon of their own grieving and not including the other children. Parents may fragment over the loss, thereby creating conflict and discord that also distances them from the other children. It is a time where the surviving children may need the comfort of parenting and family unity but due to the differences in grieving they cannot feel their needs being met by the parents. The siblings can get lost in the support from family and friends as they talk all about the child who crossed over and console the parents and unintentionally ignore the siblings who are suffering their loss in their own way.

Sometimes parents will hold onto the loss of the one child and identify with that loss and, consequently, with that child. This can create a feeling of unimportance or rejection for the other children who are alive. They may feel ignored, invisible or unwanted.

Sometimes parents will hold onto the loss of the lost child and include the other children or maybe even one of the other children to be their comfort and support. The child or children may feel the need to be there to take care of the parent in absence of needing the parent to take care of them!

There are many emotions and perceptions that affect the parents and children of families who have lost a child. What is important is to ask each member what they are experiencing and what they need. Do your best not to assume that someone feels what you do or knows what you feel and need. Talk, cry, listen, soothe. It is about unifying as a family in the name of the lost child. It is about creating a new beginning as a family with the spirit of the lost child.

At the gathering on December 9th, we will be addressing the many ways the healing and growth can begin after such a tragic loss. Please RSVP and send me your questions and thoughts prior to the gathering so we may discuss them together.

There will also be a Facebook Live Event on Thursday, November 16th at 1pm where I will be joined by Transformational Therapist Patricia Haman to talk more about this and want to expect at the gathering.

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Kristen Bomas, PA
398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
Boca Raton, Fl 33432


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