Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

• Respect your child’s way of handling the pain and expressing the grief. Don’t tell your child how he or she should react. Grandparents often think that they should cope better, have all the answers, control the situation, and set an example. Sometimes, all that you have to offer—advice, financial support, babysitting, and help—is not accepted, nor asked for, which can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and anger. You might feel guilty for not having been a perfect grandparent or for not having appreciated your grandchild enough. The expectation of having your grandchildren forever is now gone, including all the hopes and dreams. Exploring your feelings helps cope with your loss and contributes to healing. Acknowledging your feelings will ultimately enhance your ability to emotionally support your child. Explore and acknowledge your feelings.

Sibling Grief

Most people misunderstand the depth of grief that siblings experience when their brother or sister is killed. If your sibling was older than you, there was never a time in your life when he or she didn’t exist. Even if your sibling was younger, you may not remember the time before he or she became a part of your life. Siblings are the first people with whom we socialize with on a regular basis. We grow around each other, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. We may learn to test, harmonize,

play, joke, fight, and struggle for family positions with our brothers and sisters. We have our share of good times, but we also share bad experiences with them. They are familiar, yet unique. They are frustrating and entertaining. They are an important part of our lives because we have known them for a long time. There is a lifeline, a connection.

Siblings have a bond not easily broken.

A sibling relationship carries with it a bond that is not easily broken. You can choose to drop a friend, divorce a spouse, or fire an employee, and that relationship will end. You cannot,


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