Thank you to all those who have been in touch to say that they would like to be in contact with other bereaved brothers and sisters.
For those of you who are reading this newsletter for the first time, “Sibling’s Corner” puts bereaved brothers and sisters in contact with each other for mutual support and also gives help to those looking to set up support groups.
DON'T MOURN TOO MUCH FOR ME WHEN I AM GONE
I have found a new place where I can be free, A whole new beginning just made for me. I know only peace, and I never feel pain, Days full of sunshine and not too much rain. I’m no longer old, I’ve recovered my youth, And all my dreams are now my truth. I can smile, I can laugh, I can walk, I can run, I can hear every whisper; I can see past the sun. My body is whole, my mind is so clear, I know all the answers, and I’m quite free of fear.
I know why you mourn me, I see why you weep; Yours hearts full of aching from a love that was deep. I am grateful for loved ones that hold me so dear, But remember that I’ve found a better place here. I will be there beside you, always nearby. Don’t mourn me too long, and try not to cry. Whenever your sorrow bears down on your heart, Think not of my ending, But of my new start...
Friendship is a precious gift that cannot be bought or sold,
Its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold, For gold is cold and lifeless, it can neither see nor hear,
And at a time of trouble it is powerless to cheer.
It has no ear to listen, no heart to understand,
No tender word to give you, can’t lend a helping hand, So when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if he sends
No diamonds, pearls or riches, But the love of true real friends.
Decide the path you want to travel; allow yourself to make mistakes; change your mind sometimes; but never forget those along the way.
The only ones among you who will be really happy, are those who have sought and found how to serve.
Albert Schweitzer on Happiness ..
Faith is the lone candle in the darkness when you feel jettisoned out into space, and the invisible net that lies beneath you when you feel as though you may stumble.
It is what carries you through those patches of temporary amnesia. Faith is simply believing, without any tangible proof, that although the truth may seem eclipsed at times, it does not disappear forever. It simply lies dormant inside you until you reconnect with your innate wisdom.
You’ve got to be Strong Now
“You’ve got to be strong now, for your parents.”
How many of you heard that when your brother or
sister died? It generally comes from some well
meaning relative or family friend.
Yes, your parents were grieving and they had a right
to as well. They lost of child. Someone that was
important to them, but you didn’t. You’ve got nothing
to grieve about. You didn’t lose a child. You didn’t just
lose a brother or sister you lost more. You lost any or all of the following:
A playmate who could keep you company as a child.
A dining companion when everyone else seemed to
desert you. A rival in many arenas. A critic of
everything bad you did. A fan of all your good points
and deeds. A personal doctor who looked after you
when you were ill. A conscience that told you what
the right thing to do was when you didn’t know. A
bank manager who loaned money to you when you
were broke. A personal secretary who posted your
mail, answered the phone and answered the door. A
personal slave. A body guard. A soul mate. Your
confidant. The person that when all looked lost, took
your hand and said everything would be alright. Your
You didn’t lose a person. You lost a whole swag of
people. No wonder you have all this grief. It’s no
wonder you have all these feelings and emotions
swirling around your body. You have a right to grieve
too and don’t let anybody stop you.
[Warren Pynt in memory of his brother Graham]
Siblings Speak Out
The following ideas were formulated from the Siblings Speak Out workshop held in Columbus, Ohio last July. The workshop was part of the 11th National TCF Conference. The workshop consisted of five siblings leading a rap session between siblings and parents. Hopefully some of your own feelings have been summarized here for you to read and share. We thank Jacqueline Bruhn from Arlington, Virginia for summarizing the discussion for us.
Surviving children understand a parents’ fear of another loss after the death of their child, but they feel that they should be allowed to live a normal life.
Some are concerned when their parent/parents keep their grief bottled up inside and will not talk it out with them.
Some parents want their child to grieve immediately. They will grieve when they are ready.
Siblings resent people telling them that they must be strong for their parents. Many took this advice only to crash years later.
Just as the relationship to the dead child was different between sibling and parent, they will grieve differently. Many parents want their surviving children to grieve as they do.
Surviving children resent being compared constantly to their dead sibling at home, in school, among relatives and friends. Again, they are different people.
They feel that parents tend to put the dead child on a pedestal, that they never did anything wrong, when the surviving sibling knows differently.
Bereaved parents put more emphasis on the child that is not here and forgets the child that is here.
Just because a sibling is not grieving openly doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t grieving. They could be doing it privately.
Bereaved siblings are different people after the death of their brother/sister just like their parents are. Their personalities may change, values also. They view life as precious and are fearful that they may lose someone else. They sometimes tend to be overprotective of their parents.
Don’t try to force siblings to attend TCF meetings. They will go when they feel they are ready, or need to.
Surviving siblings have a strong need to know that they are loved as much as their dead sibling. They get messages that the dead child was loved more. “Would you grieve so deeply if it was me?”
If siblings refuse to bring up the subject of their dead sibling, many times it’s because they don’t want to cause the parents any more pain or to make them cry. Siblings may be talking to a friend about it instead.
Don’t force siblings to go to the cemetery if they don’t want to go. Just as adults have varying needs on cemetery-going, so do siblings.
Siblings just want parents to be there when they need them … .
When you talk, talk with your children, don’t talk at them; don’t talk to them.