To be honest, this was a day that I never new existed. Which, sounds a little ironic because I grew up with an older sister for 14 years of my life until my younger sister was born. Then, I had two sisters.
Devastatingly enough, my older sister, Stacy, died in a car accident in 2002 that I was also in. I was 16 and my younger sister, Taylor, was 2. This August will be 18 years since she had died. She will have been dead the same amount of years she was alive.
Stacy was going to attend Regis College in Weston, MA on a full cheerleading scholarship. She was a straight-A student, she was a role-model, and although she had her moments of getting in trouble with mom, she also had moments of never getting caught.
Fast forward from her death in 2002 to July of 2007, I attended my first National Conference held by The Compassionate Friends (TCF). This was a group that my mother attended; however, because I was 16, there was not any grief support for youth under the age of 18. My mother was possibly afraid to ask me to come to the conference because she did not ask me to go until I was 22 and said that if I did not like it that I could go to the bars with my aunts.
I remember going to the conference and being completely overwhelmed. There were sooooooo many people there that were bereaved. Bereaved siblings, bereaved parents, and bereaved grandparents. I remember going into a couple of workshops and ultimately left them almost as soon as I walked in. Why, you might ask? Well, a lot of the bereaved siblings at the time were older than I was and their grief process and support they needed had to due with how do they support their children. As a bereaved sibling who was 22 and single, I did not connect to older bereaved siblings who had children and wanted to know how to support their children. Luckily, I met both Cindy and Tracy.
Although they are bereaved siblings who are older than I was, I can think back and remember how open, caring, and empathetic they were. If it were not for them and the then Sounds of The Siblings, I do not think I would have continued to attend the TCF National Conferences. When a child dies, you lose your future. When a parent dies, you lose past. When a sibling dies, we lose both our past and our future.
Let me follow that up by saying that I do not think one death/loss is greater or even equal to another death/loss. You might experience multiple deaths and there might be one death that has had the most impact on you than the others and that is okay. However, when we compare deaths to someone else's and exclaim that your's is the worst, then you are minimizing their grief. Stop. Take a minute. Now, think of a time when someone said something to minimize your grief. Maybe someone said "why are you not over it," "it has been "X" amount of time, just move on," "how is your mother," "at least you have another sibling," "you have other children alive," "at least you can have more children," and many, many more. When someone said one or more of these things to you, how did it make you feel? Pretty horrible and it might have even angered you. Maybe even pissed you off. In my opinion, when you compare your grief to someone else's, you are doing the same thing.
Now, I tend to go on tangents and I feel that I may have done so here BUT this is my blog. Haha. I wanted to give you some context about me and a small part of my experience being a bereaved sibling and not knowing about National Sibling's Day until years after I was a bereaved sibling. And this is not a day I mark on my calendar and is kind of the reason why I am typing this blog because today is April 10, 2020. Today is National Sibling's Day and I did not know that until I saw a tweet and is a day that I do not remember usually until it is the day and I see someone or some org post about it.
If you are a sibling, a bereaved sibling with surviving siblings, a bereaved sibling with no surviving siblings, a bereaved sibling who was born after your sibling died or maybe even when you were young and did not get the chance to develop a relationship with your sibling, to all my LGBTQ+ bereaved siblings whether you are LGBTQ+ or your sibling who died was LGBTQ+, and to any other siblings who I have not mentioned, Ohana.
Ohana means family and family means that nobody gets left behind OR forgotten.
4/10/2020 05:54:40 pm
11/9/2022 06:29:11 pm
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11/10/2022 09:20:20 am
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