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The Sibling Connection
Introduction

      When people ask me about resources for bereaved siblings, often what they are really saying is: Can you make it stop hurting? When does the grief end? It makes sense that they are hurting--the sibling relationship is often the closest and longest lasting relationship we have. Losing a sister or brother is like losing a big part of yourself. I have learned that we never really get over the death of a sibling. There is no easy way to get through the pain.

     Learning about the experience of sibling loss, however, can help to make sense of it. Educating yourself about it is the first big step towards healing and this site can help. It includes information for siblings who lost a brother or sister during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The issues are somewhat different for each age group. Here you will find lists of books about sibling loss, articles about the healing process, about ongoing connectedness with deceased siblings, and information about the long-term effects of early sibling loss.

      There are pages here about the sibling grief process, which I have approached in three different ways. First is simply a page giving the theoretical stages of grief from three different experts. The "Learn About Grief" series explores sibling grief with movies, psychology, and other cultures. There is information about the factors that influence the sibling grief response and a page on "anniversary reactions," a phenomena that is especially difficult for siblings.

      The section on Creativity includes a list of well-known individuals who experienced the early death of a brother or sister, and I am working on producing mini-biographies of each of them.

      I want to tell you how I named this site. To earn my doctoral degree, I carried out research on adults who had lost siblings early in life. Many of the survivor siblings I interviewed said they experienced an ongoing, spiritual connection to their deceased brother or sister.

      For that reason, I called this site "The Sibling Connection."

      Clearly, many surviving siblings remember their brother or sister extremely well, (regardless of the length of time since the death) and still found it difficult to talk about the loss, choking up and becoming tearful when sharing the details of their experience. I have been deeply touched by their willingness to participate in my research in order to add to what is known about sibling loss, and validate the significance of the loss for others.

      Please visit often, and let me know what you think. I try to be responsive to visitors--I do listen to your suggestions for what to include and what you would like to hear more about. If you would be willing to have your story posted here, please let me know. Visitors tell me that this is very helpful to them.


Sincerely,

Pleasant Gill White, Ph.D.

BUY MY BOOK       Sibling Grief: Healing after the Death of a Sister or Brother

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