Chapter 5: Others in your family
When Mom died, Dad busied himself cleaning the garage, my sister was inconsolable, and my uncle disappeared until the day of the funeral. I didn’t understand why they were acting this way. Later I realized that all these reactions were normal. Realizing that everyone grieves differently was life changing for me.
Each person in the family will be affected differently because of their unique relationship with the person who died. Because families work as a system, when a family member dies, the whole system shifts. Everyone in your family is likely to feel a bit off balance. It can be helpful to recognize that some family members will need more support and patience at different times, including you.
Over time, members of your family may take on new roles and tasks. As your family finds its new balance, some members may need time alone while others may feel a deep need to be together. Try to make room, without judgment, for everyone’s style of grieving. Work on keeping communication open by letting other family members know what you need right now and asking them what they might need.
Remember that everyone in your family is sharing in this grief. Each person in your family is: