Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Day is observed in November every year. This month-long celebration is dedicated to those who have lost a sibling. Grief is a difficult emotion to process. The hardest part of grieving can be the extreme loneliness — not only is it an unfamiliar feeling one goes through, but nothing can console you from the loss of a loved one. And while it’s hard to completely remove one’s pain, the least we can do is ease it. On Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month, we can make someone feel better by reaching out and letting them know that they’re not alone.
History of Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month
Losing a loved one is a difficult part of life. Despite its imminent inevitability, no one can prepare you for the hardship of grief. Perhaps the most challenging part of grieving is the loneliness of the journey. Your friends and family can only do so much to console you, but at the end of the day, there are no shortcuts to overcoming this emotion. The only way out is through it. It’s perfectly normal to feel sad, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Despite being such an abstract emotion, the journey of grief was rationalized by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969. She identified the stages as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This explained the behavior of the bereaved, which made it possible for friends and family to understand their situation and console them accordingly.
Bereavement programs have been existing for decades to support grieving individuals. This has been a proven practice that started back in 1978 when a major study at the Royal Victoria was conducted to examine the effectiveness of hospice care, support system, and bereavement interventions. Dr. Margaret Kiely, a psychologist from the University of Montreal, conducted this study to compare grief support and no grief support for the bereaved. The outcome was extraordinarily different as it showed how a person receiving bereavement intervention suffers less. Since then, support groups became a prominent system that assists the bereaved.
Today, several grief associations in the United States are actively supporting and assisting the bereaved. Groups like The Association of Death Education and Counseling (A.D.E.C.), The Compassionate Friends, the National Alliance for Grieving Children, and Modern Loss, offer emotional and creative outlets to make anyone’s grieving process easier.
Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month timeline
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identifies the five stages of grief.
Dr. Margaret Kiely studies the difference between receiving grief support and not receiving grief support, which yields a breakthrough in modern bereavement programs.
The Association of Death Education and Counseling (or A.D.E.C.) is established to support and educate people in the areas of loss, death, and grief.
A study is conducted to scrutinize the differences in emotional displays of the bereaved depending on their culture and social norms.
Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month FAQs
What happens when you don’t grieve?
When you don’t allow yourself to grieve, it’ll manifest in your body in the forms of anxiety, stress, and even fever in some cases.
What is the difference between grieving and mourning?
Grieving is an internalized process of going through a loss. Mourning, on the other hand, is an externalized form of grieving that usually comes in a form of outward expressions, creative outlets, and memorializing your deceased loved one.
What is masked grief?
Masked grief is denying the grief a person has and showing no forms of emotional display.
How to Observe Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month
Call a bereaved loved one
Call a friend or loved one who recently lost a sibling. Let them know that they are not alone and allow yourself to listen to their struggle. Listening is key.
Volunteer to bereavement support groups
Some support groups across the U.S. accept volunteers who would assist in interventions, hospice care, and support systems. If you have the time, lend a helping hand and be a friend to the person next to you.
Send a card to the bereaved
While it’s always good to call or visit the bereaved, some want to grieve in private. It may be because they aren’t ready to talk to other people or socialize just yet. Take this time to send them a card — a simple act that allows them to know that you’re thinking of them and that you’re there for them no matter what.
5 Interesting Facts About Grief
Grief comes and goes
The journey of grief is full of ups and downs; sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don’t.
Grief is longer than you expect
According to Dr. Bill Webster, there are no shortcuts to grief and it can often last for years.
It’s better to cry
The biggest myth that needs to be debunked is the idea of “staying strong” — allow yourself to cry and release your emotions.
Thanatology is the scientific study of death and grieving.
Physical manifestations of grief
According to Dr. Colin Murray Parks, people who grieve also suffer from abdominal pain and breathing difficulties.
Why Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month is Important
We love our siblings
Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month is that time of the year to show support to anyone who has lost a sibling. It reminds us of the incomparable bond between brothers and sisters.
It’s always good to help
This month, be a friend to the bereaved. It’s always good to offer help in any way or form we can to help others manage their grief.
It supports bereavement organizations
This holiday highlights the function and importance of bereavement groups. This allows people to have access to these organizations to help them overcome grief.
Worldwide Bereaved Siblings Month dates