Supporting siblings

If you have other children, they will also be grieving and trying to come to terms with the death of their brother or sister.

To begin with, it can be difficult to find any emotional energy for anyone but yourself. It may seem impossible that you can find in yourself the strength to be a parent again. You might need to involve other family members or friends to care for and support your children to help you through these difficult times.

A child's grief

A child’s grief can appear to be very different from an adult’s grief. If you are concerned about any aspect of your children’s behaviour or feelings, you can talk to the team caring for your family. Initially, children may appear to be coping well following the death of their brother or sister. It may be many months or even years before they show any signs of needing support. Remembering that the death of your child has profoundly changed your life may help you to understand the impact on your other children long into the future.

You have to give your other children a life and I think for me that’s what keeps me going.


Support for your family

Your CLIC Sargent Social Worker, or someone else from the hospital team, may be able to visit your children’s school or college to offer advice if you think it would be helpful. Schools and colleges can be a place of normality for children and young people at difficult times, but teachers may need information and advice about the best way to support your family.

There may also be local bereavement support groups for siblings your children could join. These groups can be an additional form of support and will give your children a chance to meet others who have also lost a sibling.

Brothers and sisters

Reviewed July 2014, next planned review 2017