Chapter 2: Recognizing and understanding your grief

Your unique relationship with your sibling

I've been there
Lynn shares about her connection with her brother and how her grief, after his death, can be unrecognized.(3:22)Video transcript

We weren’t always close, but we had experiences in common. We were pieces of each other’s stories. I’ll never have that again with anyone in the same way.

We butted heads all through our lives. I always meant to tell him that in spite of all our differences, I loved him and counted on him.

Whether you were close or not, the death of a sibling is significant. They are part of your history and your identity. You had a unique relationship with your sibling that can never be replicated, and this will impact your grief. Click on the boxes below to see examples of how your relationship may impact your grief.


Take time to reflect on your relationship with your sibling. What do you miss? What do you not miss? This can help you to identify losses that may not be obvious or easy to name.

What may help

Click on the boxes below to reveal ideas about what might help in context of your relationship with your sibling.

  • Acknowledge your loss.
  • Look for supportive family and friends who will listen to you.
  • Although your sibling is no longer physically present, you can still find ways to maintain your connection with them. Use photographs, music, writing, or drawing to help you keep memories alive and with you in your life.