Chapter 4: Impact on family and friends

Your friends and your sibling’s friends

Some of my friends seemed awkward around me after my sister’s death, but I had one friend who seemed to just “get it” and treated me the same as always while letting me know that whatever I needed was okay with them.

My brother had a friend that I didn’t meet until after the funeral. She was very kind and spent time telling me about what my brother had meant to her and about other friends he had.

Your friends

You may find that your friends are right beside you and able to provide comfort to you at this challenging time. It is not uncommon, though, that friends you expected would be there for you are not. This can be for a variety of reasons. Click the arrows below to view some possibilities.

If you are able, let your friends know what you need from them. Click below for some ideas.

Most friends want to know how they can be helpful; they just need to hear from you about how they can help. What you need can change from day to day or moment to moment. Let your friends know that too.  

Friends you and your sibling shared

Some of your friends may also have been friends with your sibling, and sometimes there can be comfort in this. You might be able to talk about shared experiences, funny stories, and memories, and you might find this helps and supports all of you. 

Unknown friends of your sibling

Other times, you may have not known your sibling’s friends very well, and you might discover other parts of your sibling’s life through sharing stories and memories. The closeness these friends may have had with your sibling takes nothing away from the unique relationship you had with them.


Although some friends can feel like family and be wonderful supports, some might “overstay their welcome.” Find a way to gently let them know that you and/or your other family members need some time on your own too. Remember there are many different ways to grieve and express grief.