Sibling Loss Resources
Siblings — as a fellow member of this "club" I have a special place in my being for all of you.
Here I will be sharing resources that may help you in the coming days (and weeks, months, years). Please contact us if you have ideas of books, podcasts, essays, groups, etc. that have been helpful to you. Unsurprisingly, resources dedicated to surviving siblings are sparse, but I hope you will find some of the support you need here.
BOOKS specific to sibling-loss (there aren't many 😕 )
Poor Your Soul by Mira Ptacin | Mira details her own experience of losing her child in utero with that of her mother who lost her son (and Mira lost her brother) to an accident with a drunk driver.
- Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani | Christa's twin sister, Cara, died by suicide. The book details their intensely close bond, a relationship strained by substance use disorder, and the deep trauma of sexual assault.
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittles Wachs | Stephanie speaks to the death of her younger brother, Harris, with brutal honesty and combines boy heartbreaking loss with humor.
- There are other sibling books, of course. And while each one has value, I wouldn't put them at the top of my list. I'll include them here for you in case you want to check them out — I know that some of them are very popular, so they may be up your alley. The Empty Room, Surviving the Death of a Sibling, The Empty Room, Once We Were Sisters
Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith
- It's OK You're Not OK by Megan Devine | A book that normalizes the grief experience. It will help you realize that whatever you're feeling is completely normal (and there's nothing wrong with you)
- Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner | Collection of essays on all types of loss, but many focus on the loss of a parent (and Rebecca and Gabi have both lost two parents).
- The Hot Young Widows Club by Nora McInerny | Don't let the name fool you because this is a book for everyone — for those living with grief and the grief adjacent. Based off the (very) popular Ted Talk 'We don't move on from grief, we move forward with it."
- From Here to Eternity: Traveling The World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty | Caitlin has dedicated her career to demystifying death and also providing alternatives to the funeral industry. In her second book, she explores how different cultures approach death and their relationships with the deceased. Incredibly eye-opening, considering how death-phobic we are in the United States.
@SurvivingOurSiblings — Takeover style story sharing for siblings. You can be an observer, or sign up to share your story.
- I found Facebook groups to be immensely helpful in the early days. You can post, any time, and almost immediately connect with someone who knows. One thing I find hard is that the groups get fairly big and it's hard to keep track of people and their experiences. There are a number of groups to choose from including Sibling Grief Support, The Sounds of the Siblings, Bereaved Sibling Support Group, and Sibling Grief. They're all private, so you don't have to worry about your parent(s) reading what you wrote.
Last Day was the first podcast for the Lemonada network — founded by two sisters who lost their brothers unexpectedly to substance use disorder. The early seasons focus on addiction and suicide.
Moving Beyond with Medium Fleur and Claire Bidwell Smith. An Interesting approach where podcast guests first meet with a grief therapist, and then have a reading with a Medium. Whether you believe in mediums or not, this will certainly be interesting.
Sorry to Hear That Podcast hosted by CJ Williams. One-on-one thoughtfully guided conversations with people who know deep grief (many guests, including the host, have lost one or both parents). This episode is particular to the sibling experience.
Terrible, Thanks For Asking hosted by Nora McInerny. Honest answers to the question, "How Are You?". Episode #64 (WWJD) on sibling loss was one of my favorites.
- This is Actually Happening | People share, at length, about their experience living through life's most difficult moments.
Modern Loss | Collection of Essays, resources, and advice on navigating life after loss — here are all of their essays on sibling loss.
- What’s Your Grief | Grief exploration and education - content created by two mental health professionals.
The Dinner Party | A virtual (and in non-COVID times, in person) support group for people in their 20-40s who have experienced loss. It's not specific to Parent-Loss, but most participants have experienced the death of a parent. Chapters are across the US.
- The Compassionate Friends | The Compassionate Friends is a worldwide organization for siblings missing siblings and parents/grandparens missing children/grandchildren. They host private Facebook groups, in-person and virtual meetings, and (in non-COVID times), an annual conference.