I lost my brother, my beautiful big brother, in 2011. I struggled hard, and so did my parents. I became a hidden sibling. I was told daily to care for my parents, asked how my parents were coping. I tried to talk about my loss, but I was made to feel my parent’s loss over shadowed mine. Children trump siblings. I needed to grieve but I felt I didn’t have permission. I got angry.
It took counselling to help. I opened up; I told my parents, my friends, their friends, how their words affected me, how I didn’t feel able to grieve.
Now, I sit on a borough-wide suicide prevention strategy. I root for families, give them a voice, and give real examples of the little support available. I also help professionals to make sure they are ‘human’ and don’t become cold in their professionalism. This helps me the most.
Sam, who lost her brother