SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN
SIBLING GRIEF AFTER PERINATAL LOSS
Siblings in bereaved families suffer two losses: the sibling they were expecting and their parents as they knew them before the loss. The surviving children may differ in how they grieve, and may perceive substantial, even permanent, changes in the family’s equilibrium as grieving parents become emotionally unavailable. They live with parents whose behaviours are altered by intense grief, often at an age when they are too young to understand what is happening. The family frequently lacks a sense of direction and this state can continue for a long time. The pain never goes completely away; it can only attenuate. Research has found that siblings in grief after a perinatal loss experience disappointment and sadness that might entail a feeling of helplessness over a long period of time.
Children, like adults, will experience shock and disbelief when experiencing Bereavement. Children may not take in everything at once. They will assimilate as little or as much as they can bear at any one time. Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.