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Life must go on: On loss of a sibling by Lucy Ngari

Life must go on: On coping with grief by Lucy Ngari
15th September 2018
Complicated or incomplete grief
26th September 2018

The loss of a sibling in adulthood can have many meanings:-

-It is the loss of a brother or sister who shared a unique co-history with you. This person was an integral part of your formative past, for better or worse.

-Your brother or sister shared common memories, along with critical childhood experiences and family history.

-When death takes your brother or sister, it also takes away one of your connections to the past. That brother or sister knew you in a very special way, unlike those who know you now as an adult. Consequently, a constant is gone.

-This can make you feel insecure, for although you may or may not have had frequent contact with your sibling, at least you knew another member of your family was there.

-Your sibling holds a symbolic place in your life even if they did not have an impact on your current day-to-day activities.

-This brother or sister’s death can make you feel older and indicate that your family is dwindling. Because you likely have the same genetic background, the death of a sibling may increase concerns about your own mortality.

– In some cases, the death of a sibling may suddenly create a profound shift in the role you may have held for all or most of your life. This new role, when combined with your natural grief, can make it difficult to wade through the many complicated emotions that arise when a sibling dies.

-Some adults who have lost an adult sibling experience a change in their relationship with their parents. Since siblings often feel their grief isn’t fully acknowledged and their parents are focused on overcoming their loss, they can feel abandoned by their parents. At a time when they need them the most, their parents are disabled by their own grief.

-It’s critical that surviving siblings get the support they need from others in their family or community. This will help meet not only the surviving sibling’s needs, but also temper any feelings of resentment or abandonment.

“Wacha niKwambie”

September 2018 – Lifemustgoon

Soaring after loss – emotional and spiritual wellness


Lucy Ngari is a Counseling Psychologist based In Kenya. This article is meant to be a guide in healthy grieving. If you need the services of a counselling psychologist to deal with your grief please visit a duly accredited one.

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