Sibling Grief – I need your help

John and his favorite elf

In May, 1989, my brother John died.  He was 18, I was just shy of 22.  It was difficult navigating the world of grief.  I tried to find information on how you are ‘supposed’ to grieve, but there weren’t many resources out there for siblings.  I went to Compassionate Friends meetings, but they were really focused on parents.

So for many years now, I have wanted to write a book dealing with sibling grief.  There are not a lot of resources out there for siblings.  Plenty for parents, but not us.

I would like to get other people who have also dealt with sibling grief to help with this project.  If you know anyone who has lost a sibling, before the age of 30, I would like to talk to them about their experiences…if they are up for it.  Please have them contact me directly at  No I do not have any kind of book deal nor have I even pursued that yet.  I just feel this is something I have to do and the rest will fall into place.

Me and John - We were stylin'

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16 Responses to Sibling Grief – I need your help

  1. Trish says:

    I will pass along to Phil and his brothers. Rob is the writer, so more likely to give you a response. I always find the marked resemblance between their brother Kevin and John a little eerie. Kevin was 14 and the boys were in their early twenties. Love you, Trish

  2. Julie says:

    I did not know this, Melissa! I can only imagine how hard it has been. I have a friend who lost his brother when we were all in high school…motorcycle accident. He is a quiet guy so may not be willing to talk about it but I could see it being good for him. I will send him your email. His name is Chris.

  3. Swirly says:

    That is the cutest picture of you two. I will spread the word!

  4. My sister was diagnosed with cancer when I was 16 and died on my 20th birthday, six weeks before my wedding.

    I’ve written about that loss a few times over the years. This past weekend I attended a family wedding and the bride wore my sister’s wedding gown…

    My sister’s illness and death changed everything for me, shaped my entire life then and now.
    She was so young, I was so young. None of us knew how to deal with death, dying, and its effect on a family.

    • Melissa says:

      Veronica…I am truly sorry for your loss. I don’t think any of us know how to deal with death and dying, we kind of just stumble through. I’m hoping that by share our experiences, it may help someone else who is dealing with the death of a sibling. I will send a separate email with more information and if you want to participate that would be great, if not, I completely understand.

  5. jenica says:

    i’d like to help. my sister passed away shortly after birth and when i was 2 1/2. i have very distinct memories of this time and of course living my whole life with the lost opportunity of a sister. i’ve also had some really healing experiences that i’d love to share.

    my gf has also blogged some about her experience:


    • Melissa says:

      Jenica…I had no idea and am so sorry for your loss. I would love to have your input on this. I will send you a separate email with a little more information. Big hugs. See you next month! xoxo

  6. Teri says:

    Although I have never lost a sibling – in fact haven’t even known the type of bond that can exist between siblings; I remember so much about the time and living through your eyes. (Or trying to). I am very touched by what you are doing and although I can’t contribute directly, I will support you however I can. Count on it!

  7. mary - says:

    i am very so sorry for your loss. i lost my brother to a car accident. he was 21 and i was 12… i can remember feeling so lost and alone. i had so many questions that went unanswered. i mean what does a 12 year old really understand about death and dying. this has been one of the hardest things that i have had to learn to cope with in my life. i have tried many times to write about this but i still never have.
    thx. m-

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  9. ca says:

    I had 5 sisters. We lost 2 sisters to Leukemia. (sister 2, Susie, died at 5years old and sister 3, Nancy, died at 10 years old).
    Sister 1 may be the best to talk to you. She will remember Susie the best. I was only 2 when Susie died. I remember Nancy very well. I was 8 when Nancy died.
    Email if you would like to talk some more. I will send your email address to sister 1 and see if she will contact you.

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