When a sibling dies we are left walking in the valley of life with the shadow of their death forever cast on the pathway ahead.

I have the honour of being part of the super exclusive club of the ‘sole surviving sibling loss gang’. And that throws up a different facet of loss. As a sole-surviving sibling your role as a sibling ceases to exist when you brother or sister dies. And that is really hard to handle.

Gee and Me- 90’s style

Losing that wingman, the person who viewed the world through the same aperture because of the fuckedupedness we went through isn’t something I’ll ever find peace in. It never will make sense. And that’s ok. It doesn’t have to make sense. Sometimes life doesn’t.

So why I am writing this?

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your loved one. Just because they are dead it doesn’t mean they didn’t exist and play a huge part in your life. They still do.
  • Don’t be afraid to feel. I wouldn’t listen to sad songs for a long time because they’d make me cry (they still do) but sometimes you need to cry. I just make sure I have a kick ass pair of sunglasses with me.
  • It’s completely normal to want to punch people. When people are confronted with death they don’t know what to say or do. As a consequence they may say something that feels insensitive. That is almost certainly not their intention. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you want to punch them. You probably shouldn’t actually do it though!
  • Don’t say that time heals. I can say almost 7 years down the line that no it bloody doesn’t. You get used to living with it but it’s like a scar that can rip open on occasion and sometimes that reason can be something small. And that’s ok.
  • Don’t say that the universe has some kind of plan. That it doesn’t give us more that we can handle. It’s saying that my brother had to die as some part of some cosmic order. Not a cool thing to say to someone. In fact it’s pretty dickish. I think that this a generally unhelpful thing to say to people, not just those in bereavement. It smacks of so much privilege it’s unreal.
  • Text them or contact them to say hello. They may not respond but the contact helps.
  • Understand that people carry this with them forever and the grief process is cyclical not linear.

--

--

--

I write about sibling loss, grief & bereavement

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

When was the last time everyone got together?

Easter Eggs and hunting for my Schizophrenic Mom in NYC.

The Lights That Guide Me Home

Growing up in the Arctic: A Gift To Last A LifeTime

The Domino Man

The Origin Story — Why I Became an Entrepreneur.

Mr Meko: Agent of Lucifer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Megan Grace

Megan Grace

I write about sibling loss, grief & bereavement

More from Medium

25 Days of Holiday Self=Care — Quiet Gratitude = Day 23

Grieving the Loss of an Illness

Fashion tales

Can Antonio Brown Be Helped?