I recently met an individual who shared with me their struggle in learning to accept the reality of their loss of a sibling. As a parent I know it is easy for me to overlook the fact that children grieve also. As we struggle learning to adjust to our own loss, we may not realize that our children are hurting also. Children who are in the midst of a dysfunctional family system may also be suspect to emotional problems following the traumatic event. Symptoms may be seen to develop immediately in various activities of their life as in school or in their interactions with family members that are glaringly different from their previous pattern of behavior.
Whether children are identified early or late that they are struggling to balance their own grief with their daily life, it is important to acknowledge their journey. This is not the time to ignore their needs because we have our own. It is better for families to grieve together, as a single unit, not as separate individual entities. There is truth to the adage, ‘strength in numbers.’ Each will gain strength from knowing they are not alone in their travel with grief. Additionally, children learn from what they see from their adult role models. What are we teaching them from our pattern of behavior?
When a sibling is lost from a sudden unexpected separation, this naturally will be a greater trauma to the survivor and their reaction will depend upon their age, ethnic customs, religious beliefs, their relationship to their loss, their emotional development, and their relationship to their support system around them. A strong active relationship with Jehovah will be of further immense help (2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Psalm 23:4; 119:50). Thus a combined intimate relationship with family and God will affect good success as you apply their support as pillars of strength as you journey with grief. This is Sunrise.