The death of a brother or sister is likely to be one of the most difficult things that’s ever happened to you. It may feel like nobody understands what you’re going through, but the fact is help is always at hand.
How you might feel
The death of a brother or sister can be intense, upsetting and even confusing, but the fact is whatever you’re going through is a natural response. It’s all part of the process in adapting to what’s happened.
You may experience all sorts of feelings including shock, disbelief, devastation, confusion, guilt, abandonment, numbness or anger. Everyone experiences grief in different ways, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming. What’s important to remember is that grief evolves over time until you make sense of it in your own way, and that the process is different for everyone.
Life after loss
The challenge is in recognising and accepting that you’re still here with a life to lead. With no set rules for dealing with grief, it becomes something we face in our own way, and by turning to those who can support us through it.
I can think about her and smile sometimes now, rather than bursting into tears every time.
What you can do
There are lots of different things you can try to help with your feelings, and there is support available to manage the ups and downs of grief. You might need support with how your grief has affected your relationships with your parents, friends or partners. You might feel that you're unable to move on with your own life, or want help to connect with the memory of your brother or sister in a positive way.
CLIC Sargent has put together a booklet called When your brother or sister dies. The information aims to support young people through this difficult time and includes experiences and advice from other young people who have lost a sibling.
Organisations that can help
You'll find contacts at the back of the booklet for further support and information, or if you just want someone to talk to.
Alternatively, you can look at our list of organisations that can help for more places you can turn to for help.
Updated 2016, next planned review 2019.