Each bereavement brings its own unique sorrow, its particular experience of loss. Losing a sibling is like losing a part of yourself and can change the way you view your life.
You grew up together, you played, fought, made plans – maybe you stood together against bullies and outsiders, and, if your up-bringing was difficult, coping with this together kept you on track. Relating to a sibling is complex – there may be rivalry and family issues that stop you from realising just how much you love them, how much you share and how much you enjoy having them around. It can also be comforting to have someone to moan about, someone to feel superior to or someone to blame! Now all that is gone and you may be coping with the loss of parts of your life that you never really noticed, or thought you needed. In addition, your place in the family has changed and you may have to, or feel expected to, alter your lifestyle and attitudes.
The person who guarded you, pushed you around, helped you and/or was held up as a role model is no longer around. Whatever age you are, you may now be faced with extra responsibility. These may be practical tasks that you do for your parents, or other family members or simply additional pressure to achieve. As a younger sibling you may have felt free, without realising it. It can come as a shock when that alters and the adjustment can be difficult. Of course, you can choose not to change – that’s up to you. Indeed, no-one may be asking you to change. But this is still an underlying issue in the emotions you’re dealing with.
That person who possibly annoyed you, caused you grief by claiming your parents’ attention, whom you protected and bossed through their early years has died before you. That doesn’t seem right. You may be left with a sense of failure, however unreasonable that may be. Why couldn’t you save your little brother or sister? For instance, when my sister died I felt I should have saved her from ‘The Bogey-man’ even though I knew she had gone on a wonderful journey, because I had seen her begin it on her death-bed. You also have to cope with a change of position in the family – maybe you are now an ‘only’ child and there is no-one to share the load, or maybe other siblings need more support from you. There is so much to think about and you may be confused as well as bereft.
Siblings often do not get along but this can leave you with guilt following a death. Was it your fault? What have you missed in life through falling out with the person most genetically close to you? Maybe you feel especially angry at your sibling for leaving, as it were, before patching it up. Just because you had big problems with a sibling doesn’t mean you won’t miss them or find their passing hard to cope with.
• If you are young, that is still in your teens, or early twenties, you will need to find an older person to help and support you. This should be someone you can trust, such as a relative, teacher, lecturer or youth worker. Remember, you are vulnerable. Don’t let yourself be exploited in any way. You have a great deal to cope with and there will be complex emotions for you to process at a time when your parents may be too lost in their own grief to help. Of course you can get in touch with our helpful and supportive team of psychics – they are always there for you, but make sure you get the permission of the person who pays the bill first.
• Deal with your anger. This can be especially strong when losing a sibling. You may well be very angry with them for what they’ve done before they died, and now, however irrational it may be, a part of you feels they’ve cut and run and abandoned you. This can happen whatever age you are. Don’t be ashamed – find someone to talk to about this.
• Get support from other family members if your parents are still alive – you shouldn’t have to shoulder all of their grief as well as your own.
• Be aware that bereavement shakes a family up in a variety of ways. It doesn’t automatically bring you all closer. This is why you need help from outside, so matters don’t spiral out of control.
• Sorrow will go very deep. All those childhood memories are now very poignant. It seemed as if life would go on forever, in those endless summers, exciting Christmases and holidays. Now you’re coping with a darker perspective. Share your memories and explore other ways of looking at things. Nothing is ever destroyed – good experiences are treasures within your heart, difficult ones are opportunities for growth.
THERE IS HELP OUT THERE Of course it is good to talk, and although every grief is unique that shouldn’t cut you off from sharing. Maybe it will make more difference than you think. At The Circle you can always contact a psychic or medium who can help you. Benefit from a psychic reading, check your horoscope, get some advice, insight and support. A clairvoyant reading is a great way to shift your viewpoint, so make contact with us without delay.
PUBLISHED: 26 February 2015