Chapter 4: Impact on family and friends

If your sibling has children

I've been there
Karen speaks about having hard conversations before her sister's death. (3:22)Video transcript
Lucy speaks about keeping her sister Tracy's memory alive for her kids. (3:22)Video transcript

My brother’s children and grandchildren remain close to me, and we often talk about him.

I feel a responsibility and connection with my sister’s children, but I also know that I am a reminder of what they have lost. I try to keep an “open door” and let them take the lead.

If your sibling has children or grandchildren, you may find that you can be a source of comfort to them, and they to you. You may notice physical or personality characteristics similar to your sibling’s or recognize your sibling’s influence on their values and actions. As someone who knew their parent or grandparent long before these young people were born, you can offer valuable memories, information, and stories that can be retold and passed on. This can be sad and comforting all at the same time.

If you have never been close to your sibling’s children, you may want to have more contact with them now. However, they may not want this. They may even want to distance themselves from you. There can be many reasons for this.

Click on the arrows below for some examples.

What may help

Try to be patient and remember they are also grieving in their own way.

Allow everyone the time and support they need during this difficult time.

Helpful resources