This post contains some of the best sibling grief quotes.
Sibling Grief Quotes
1. “Whether your sibling was younger or older, whether the death was sudden or anticipated, whether you were very close to your sibling throughout your lives or experienced periods of separation, you are now grieving.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
2. “If you loved your sibling, you will grieve. Even if you had a difficult or ambivalent relationship with your sibling, you will grieve.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
3. “Yet no matter what your present-day relationship with your sibling was, his or her death is a blow because a part of your story has died.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
4. “At any given time, an estimated 25 percent of Americans have experienced the death of a sibling. This means that nearly 100 million people in our country have suffered the death of a brother or sister. Yet why do we hear so little about sibling grief?” – Alan D. Wolfelt
5. “Yet too often, our society views the death of an adult sibling as less important than the death of a spouse, a child, a parent, or even a close friend. This results in surviving siblings feeling unvalidated and unsupported in their grief. We sometimes call this “disenfranchised grief,” meaning that it is not acknowledged in our culture. I also use the term “forgotten mourners” to describe this problem. Has this happened to you?” – Alan D. Wolfelt
6. “The truth is, no losses are “less than.” They are simply different. What’s more, the stronger your attachment to someone who dies, the stronger your grief is likely to be—no matter the type of relationship (spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, etc.). Also, when relationships are strained, difficult or have been cut off, we often experience natural complications because we mourn for what we wish could have been.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
7. “When a sibling dies, it is like a deep hole implodes inside of you. It’s as if the hole penetrates you and leaves you gasping for air.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
8. “Remember—you are not alone, and you are not forgotten. No, your love does not end with the death of your brother or sister. You can and will carry your sibling with you into the future, always remembering your past and what he or she brought to the dance of your life.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
9. “Don’t judge yourself or try to set a particular course for healing. There is no one way to grieve the death of a sibling. There is only what you think and feel and the expressing of those thoughts and feelings.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
10. “Even if your sibling was elderly when he or she died, your feelings of loss may be profound. Some people think that death is just a normal part of life for older people, and that they accept death more easily than younger people. While this may be true in part, elderly people still feel the pain of loss. Love is ageless, thus grief is ageless.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
11. “We grow, we learn; the spiritual path is a lifetime unfolding process. The death of your sibling often inspires this spiritual unfolding. Make the effort to embrace your spirituality and it will embrace you back by inspiring you with a sense of peace, hope and healing.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
12. “Whether your sibling was young, middle-aged or older, whether the death was sudden or anticipated, someone you loved and who loved you will never be physically present to you again. Of course you grieve! Of course you need to mourn!” – Alan D. Wolfelt
13. “When the opportunity arises, let others know that the death of a sibling is not easy and that the resulting grief is not “less than” the grief from other deaths.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
14. “One way to mourn your sibling’s death is to think through, write and talk about the relationship you had with him or her. Were you close to your sibling, whether as children and/or as adults? How did your relationship change as you grew older? What words would your sibling use to describe you? What words would you use to describe your sibling?” – Alan D. Wolfelt
15. “When a sibling dies, you lose not only the physical presence of your sibling, but also a part of yourself—that part of you that was and is a brother or sister.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
16. “One of the most difficult losses for grieving adult siblings can be the sense of loss of a shared history. Your brother or sister grew up in the same house with you, shared the same parents, attended the same school, climbed the same tree… Who else knew your childhood so well?” – Alan D. Wolfelt
17. “The death of a sibling often brings about feelings of unfinished business— things we never did, things we didn’t get to say, things we wish we hadn’t.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
18. “Sharing your pain with others won’t make it disappear, but it will, over time, make it more bearable. Sibling mourners have told me they find it particularly helpful to talk to others who have experienced the death of a sibling. From our common bond comes hope for our mutual healing.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
19. “This first need of mourning requires you to gently confront the difficult reality that your sibling is dead and will never physically be present to you again.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
20. “At times you may push away the reality of your sibling’s death. This is normal. You will come to integrate the reality, in doses, as you are ready.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
21. “Always remember that your pain is normal and necessary. You are not being “overly emotional” if you feel devastated after the death of a sibling. You are not being irrational. You are not weak or immature. The bond between siblings can run very deep, and its history tells, in large part, the story of who you are.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
22. “To heal, you need to actively remember the sibling who died and commemorate the life that was lived.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
23. “Never let anyone take your memories away in a misguided attempt to save you from pain. It’s good for you to continue to display photos of your brother or sister. It’s good for you to talk about your sibling’s life and death. It’s good for you to hold onto objects that belonged to your sibling.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
24. “A large part of your self-identity was formed by the relationship you had with the sibling who died. For all (or most) of your life, you have been the brother or sister of the sibling who died. You have been a member of your family of origin.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
25. “A hole has been made in your identity. If your only sibling died, you may feel like an “only child.” Do you still have a surviving brother or sister? If so, how will you answer the common, casual question: “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” The way you defined yourself and the way society defines you is changed.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
26. “Remember that having faith or spirituality does not negate your need to mourn. Even if you believe in life after death or that your sibling has gone to “a better place,” you still have the right and the need to mourn this significant loss in your life. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”” – Alan D. Wolfelt
27. “Grieving siblings are especially forgotten. So, many grieving siblings are abandoned by their friends and family soon after the death.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
28. “The death of a sibling seems always to be a shock, whether the death was sudden or anticipated. Your sibling was and always will be one of the central figures in your life. Even siblings who aren’t seemingly close play a large psychological and emotional role in our lives.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
29. “If your sibling was the first significant person in your life to die, you may find yourself encountering grief and the harsh realities of death for the first time. This is never easy.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
30. “What do siblings represent? They are mirrors of our history and childhood; they are connections to the past; they are journeyers on parallel paths; they are affirmers of our very existence. When a sibling dies, all of these things are torn at the seams.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
31. “Now that one of your siblings has died, perhaps you can use your newfound perspective to strengthen your relationship with your surviving siblings. How much time might you have left together?” – Alan D. Wolfelt
32. “Of course, you are not alone in mourning this death. If your parents are still alive, they will be profoundly affected. If your sibling had a life partner and/or children, they will obviously need support as well. Friends and neighbors are probably grieving too.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
33. “You may find it helpful to identify people who have not only survived the death of an adult sibling but who have learned to live more deeply as a result.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
34. “Feelings of relief after a prolonged or painful illness is ended by death are very common. It is perfectly normal and understandable to want your sibling’s suffering to end and your life to return to normal.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
35. “Of course, you’ve probably found that your life is not “normal” anymore. Your sibling has died. Your life is forever changed. And even though you were anticipating the death, you may still feel shocked when it actually happens. No one is ever really prepared for the death of someone loved.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
36. “If the death was recent, you may be worried if all you can seem to remember or think about is your sibling’s suffering and death. Rest assured that in time, you will once again recall happier, gentler memories.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
37. “The sudden death of a sibling, like any sudden death, comes as a shock. For a while, the death may seem completely unreal and dreamlike. You may feel as if your brother or sister will phone or walk through your door at any moment.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
38. “If you and your sibling rarely communicated with one another, you may still feel a surprisingly deep sense of loss. After all, someone with whom you once shared a family and a home is now gone forever. It is too late to reconnect.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
39. “If your relationship with your sibling was strained due to differences in values, personality or lifestyle, you may feel a mixture of feelings after her death. You may feel angry about the choices she made.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
40. “Whatever you do, DO NOT get rid of linking objects that remind you of the sibling who died. If you need to box some of them up for a time, do so. Later, when you are ready, you will likely find that displaying linking objects in your home is a way to remember the sibling who died and honor your ongoing feelings of love and loss.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
Is It Necessary To Grieve?
Grief is a natural and necessary response to loss.
It serves an important function in helping us process and adjust to the emotional impact of losing someone or something significant in our lives.
It is an integral part of the healing process.
Grief allows us to acknowledge the reality of the loss, experience and express our emotions, and gradually adapt to life without what or who we have lost.
Without grieving, these emotions may remain unresolved and can potentially have negative long-term effects on our emotional well-being.
While grief can be painful and uncomfortable, it is essential to permit ourselves to grieve.
Suppressing or avoiding grief may lead to complications such as prolonged sadness, anger, guilt, or even physical health issues.
By allowing ourselves to grieve, we give ourselves the opportunity to heal and eventually find meaning and purpose in life again.
It is important to remember that grief is a highly individual experience, and there is no set timeframe for how long it should last. It varies from person to person, and each person’s grieving process is valid and unique.
How Long Does Grief Last?
The duration of grief can vary greatly from person to person. There is no set timeline or specific duration for the grieving process, as it is a highly individual and unique experience.
Some factors that may influence the duration of grief include the nature of the loss, the individual’s relationship with the deceased, their coping mechanisms, and their overall support system.
Grief is a natural response to loss and typically involves different stages or phases, such as shock, denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and eventually acceptance. These stages are not linear and can be experienced in different orders or cycles.
For most people, the acute symptoms of grief tend to lessen within the first six to twelve months.
However, it is important to remember that grief is a personal journey and the intensity and duration can vary significantly.
Some individuals may continue to experience waves of grief for a longer period of time, while others may find their grief becomes more manageable relatively quickly.
It is essential to allow yourself to grieve at your own pace and to seek support if needed.
If you find that your grief is significantly impairing your daily functioning, lasting an unusually long time, or causing severe distress, it may be beneficial to consult with a mental health professional who can provide guidance and support throughout the grieving process.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book Healing The Adult Sibling Grieving Heart, © 2005 by Alan D. Wolfelt. All rights reserved.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.