Restoring My Complexion

Restoring My Complexion

Helping Your Surviving Children Deal With The Suicide Of A Sibling

by Dylan Owens

Losing a child to suicide can leave you so overwhelmed with grief that you may not realize that your other children are struggling and hurting, as well. This is an extremely difficult time for all the members of your family, so it is imperative to ensure that your surviving children have their mental and emotional needs taken care of. So if you don't have the strength or time to deal with your children's needs, it is important to seek out a counselor for them who can because they will probably be struggling with a mix of emotions, including:

  • Sadness. The loss of a sibling is terribly overwhelming. The deceased was somebody that your child had either known their whole life or for most of their time on earth. 
  • Guilt. Even if there was nothing the sibling could have done to prevent a suicide, the surviving child may feel that they were responsible in some way. 
  • Loss. You and your spouse may be so wracked with your own grief and dealing with funeral and other arrangements that your surviving children may feel that they've not only lost their sibling but also their parents -- at least momentarily. 
  • Fear. Depending on their age, surviving children may fear that they might also die young, especially since many are not told why or how their sibling has passed away. 
  • Loneliness or a sense that they are being left out. Mourners will typically offer comfort to the parents, but forget that the surviving children also need a little TLC. 
  • Confusion. After a suicide, family members and friends may be whispering and acting in a way that may appear strange to the surviving children, especially if they are unaware that their sibling took their own life. 

The Importance of Counseling

Some people once thought that children didn't mourn or that they would not suffer long-term negative effects after the loss of a sibling. But a psychotherapist interviewed in People stated that 20 to 25 percent of the emotionally disturbed children that he worked with had experienced the death of a sibling, and that he believed that part of their problems stemmed from their tragic losses. 

In addition, children may not know how to express the mix of emotions they are feeling, so their grief may manifest itself in other ways, including:

  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Denial that there is anything wrong
  • Behavioral problems
  • Withdrawal
  • Trouble concentrating and difficulties in school

Even more troubling? According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a family history of suicide is considered a risk factor for an individual. So for this -- and all of the other reasons listed above -- it is very important to have your surviving children see a counselor. 

Family or Individual Counseling? 

To help your surviving children deal with the loss of their sibling, you may want to participate in family counseling. But it is also important that your children have time alone with a counselor so they can discuss things that they may feel uncomfortable speaking about in front of you. Perhaps, they are feeling abandoned by you but know that you are suffering and don't want to hurt you. Or perhaps they are feeling guilty because they had a fight with the deceased on the morning of the suicide and they are afraid to tell you. Talking about these feelings with a counselor could help your child deal with any internal turmoil they may be experiencing. 

Talk to Your Child's School

It is also important to inform the school of your family's situation so that your children's teachers and guidance counselors will be sensitive to your child's needs and will know to look for any changes in their behavior. 

Your surviving children will need emotional support during this time. A professional counselor may be the answer you need during this difficult period. Click here for more info on available professionals.


About Me

Restoring My Complexion

A few years ago, I began experiencing red, itchy patches on my eyelids and forehead. I began applying moisturizer to my face at this time. Unfortunately, it didn’t help my condition. My trusted physician informed me I might be suffering from the skin disorder psoriasis. This caring individual prescribed a medicated cream for me. Thankfully, the cream soothed my itchy, inflamed skin. If you have an unexplained, skin condition that isn’t responding to home remedies, make visiting your doctor soon a priority. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most common types of skin conditions people seek professional treatment for. Enjoy!