'Losing a sibling changes you forever' - the forgotten bereaved brothers and sisters

Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Illustration. (Getty Images)
Illustration. (Getty Images)

When your sibling dies it's common to feel that you're all alone. Your brother or sister - who shares your family memories and was supposed to go through life with you - is no longer there.

Losing a brother or sister is considered to be one of the most difficult kinds of grief, says Maree Arkell, the facilitator of The Compassionate Friends sibling support group in Sydney. However, with most of the focus on the bereaved parents, siblings can find they're ignored.

"Siblings are often referred to as the forgotten mourners," she says. "Sibling grief is under acknowledged - you have the funeral and after that you're expected to move on. Siblings are often overlooked because they're perceived as the strong ones who hold it together. And I know a lot of siblings do step in and parent their parents.

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Voting Booth
What's your favourite winter style staple?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Outerwear - coats, jackets
31% - 209 votes
14% - 95 votes
18% - 122 votes
Sweats and hoodies
31% - 210 votes
7% - 47 votes