Chapter 5: Others in your family

Your siblings

I was surprised how my brother responded. He seems to have softened since Dad died. Our relationship is much different now…in a good way.

Each sibling has a different relationship with their parent. These differences have a strong influence on each person’s grief.

Every family has a different dynamic. There are times of tension or discord and times of harmony and mutual support. After the death, you and your siblings may find your relationships change. 

Everyone has their own experience of grief and their own way of coping. You may have a sister who takes charge of funeral planning but refuses to talk about the death or your parent; or you may have a brother who cannot stop talking about his feelings.

Below are some additional factors that may impact yours and your siblings’ grief.  Click each item in the left tab to reveal more.


Personalities influence the way people grieve. This can add to the stress of an already difficult situation. 


There may be disagreements among your siblings about the memorial, settling the estate, or how to care for a surviving parent.

Previous conflict

Previous conflicts can become amplified after a death.

What may help

It is usually helpful to let others know how you’re feeling and what you can and can’t offer at any given time.

If you are struggling with your own grief, you may feel that you have little or nothing to give to your siblings. Ask for their patience and acknowledge that they may be struggling as well.

If your siblings aren’t able to provide the support you need, you might consider talking with someone outside your family.