When my brother died in the summer of 2016 was the beginning of my quest for information. As humans, we often gather information to try to make sense of our circumstances. I wanted to know what happened, and soon after, I wanted to learn everything I could about grief. I knew I was embarking on a new chapter in my life, about a subject that I had no personal experience with. So, I began scouring the internet. Just like I do with ordinary questions, I started with a Google search: "sibling loss grief".
Most of the search results sat untouched. At first, what I was finding was not all that helpful. It may have been too early in my grief journey; maybe I wasn't ready for the information. Plus, for various reasons, many google searches came up empty for my particular kind of loss. (I would eventually learn that sibling loss at any age is a subject that is often overlooked in research.) I lost my college-aged brother in an accident. He was unmarried, but he, my sister, and I were all in our twenties. We weren't young children who could go to the sibling support groups for those under 18, and we couldn't join the groups for parents. I couldn't go to a spouse support group, or one for someone who died from an illness. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find something that felt right for me. I wanted so badly to feel "normal", especially when nothing around me felt anything close to normal. I felt different than all my friends, and different from those who had lost someone. I felt displaced in the loss community. (Eventually I found an awesome support group that I mention below.)
In the meantime, I continued seeing my therapist weekly. I ordered a couple books about general grief from Amazon. I talked to my family and close friends. I picked up hobbies like cross stitch and quilting. I took my vitamins and walked in the evenings. Somehow, a year went by. It was the most difficult, painful, and trying year. But I got through it.
During this year I began collecting the articles, books, websites, and podcasts that helped - even a little bit - and saving them to share with others. This post is the culmination of those resources that I've collected while in year one of my grief journey.
This is not an exhaustive list. If you're in the same spot I was, you'll gather your own list. You'll figure out what works for you (and what doesn't). My hope is that this list helps at least one person who was in my terrible position, feel less lost and less alone. I'm working on creating a list of resources for those supporting someone who has lost a loved one.
The Dinner Party is a community of mostly 20- and 30-somethings who've each experienced significant loss. We get together over potluck dinners to talk about the ways in which it continues to affect our lives and how to thrive in #LifeAfterLoss.
| WEBSITES |
Many of these websites I follow and interact with on Facebook and/or Instagram.
- What's Your Grief
- Grief In Common
- Headspace.com/Blog > Archives: Death
- The Grief Practice: trauma-sensitive.
- Modern Loss
- Refuge in Grief
- The Compassionate Friends: support groups.
- Good Therapy: a resource for finding a therapist.
- Grief Anonymous
- Actively Moving Forward: a college grief support network.
- Grief to Hope (great Instagram follow).
| ARTICLES |
Grief and Feels:
- "My Journey Through the First Year of Grief"
- "These Illustrations Totally Nail How Difficult The Grief Process Is"
- "4 Things I Wish I'd Known While Grieving"
- "Conceptualizing Progress in Grief"
- "Stifled Grief: How The West Has It Wrong"
- "We Are All Healing on Our Own Timeline!"
- "Remaining Present Through Both Joy and Sorrow"
- "A Meditation on Grief"
- "Q&A With Author and Poet Tyler Knott Gregson"
- "Feelings: Better to Sit with Them Than to Run from Them"
- "The Paradoxes of Mourning"
- "Bowen Family Systems and Grief"
- "The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma"
- "Grief After Traumatic Loss"
- "What No One Tells You About Trauma"
- "Sibling Loss: When Grief Goes Unacknowledged"
- "The Loss of a Lifetime: When an Adult Brother or Sister Dies"
- "Adults Grieving the Death of a Sibling"
- "How I Slowly Began My Grieving Process After My Brother's Death"
- "Grieving the Death of a Sibling"
- "Helping Yourself Heal When an Adult Sibling Dies"
- "Loss of an Adult Sibling"
| AUDIO RESOURCES |
- Hope, Healing & Help: Program Archive. An extensive library of audio and printed resources based out of Sacramento.
- Terribly Funny with Steve Basilone: A podcast where writer, Steve Basilone, talks to funny people about genuinely terrible things that have happened to them.
- What's Your Grief Podcast: otherwise known as ‘gabbing about grief’; ‘chatting about coping’; and ‘gossiping with the grief gals’.
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking: Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.
| BOOKS |
Please share some resources that you have found helpful in the comments section!