Chapter 5: Your family

Your child’s siblings

I've been there
Valerie describes the different ways her daughters grieve their sister's death and how they cope with their grief.(3:22)Video transcript
Emma says the pediatric hospice is helping her daughter understand and learn how to grieve for her brother.(3:22)Video transcript
Courtney and Jay describe how they talk about Kalyana to their second daughter. (3:22)Video transcript
The children’s grief expert says
Francis Macapagal explains that when children or teens hear sad news, they are sad for awhile and then move on to the next thing.(3:22)Video transcript
Shaindy Alexander explains that children grieve differently than adults.(3:22)Video transcript
Dr. Adam Rapoport explains the different ways children and adults grieve.(3:22)Video transcript

It wasn’t just the loss of her younger brother. He was her best friend.

I had seen my kids sad, but they had never experienced deep sorrow like this. I realized that this wasn’t going to affect just me and my husband; it was going to impact them too.

If you have other children, their grief will be influenced by their ages, development, and relationships with their sibling who died. This may or may not be their first experience grieving a death.

You may need to ask others for additional support as you look for ways to help your living child/children while you are grieving. Many resources that provide useful information about supporting children are available.

What may help

  • Acknowledge the challenges of continuing to parent while you’re grieving. You will need both time and support as you find ways to balance meeting your own needs and those of your living child/children.
  • As much as possible, spend time with your living child/children. It’s important for them to know that you are still there for them.
  • Call on family members and friends to provide whatever assistance you need at this time. For example, you could ask someone to spend time with your child/children, doing an activity that they enjoy.
  • Older children and adult children may feel that their grief is not as important as yours. It’s okay to let them comfort you but remember that they also need comfort and support. Let them know that you acknowledge they are grieving too, and that you will get through this together.

Helpful resources – Learn to understand and move through your grief – Support grieving children