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Support for Siblings of Children Living with Illness

Support for Siblings of Children Living with Illness

“I just want her to be comfortable.”
“How much longer will she be with us?”
“God is happy that my brother is with Him now. He is giving my brother a hug and is glad my brother is there to make Him laugh.”

Working in pediatic palliative and hospice care, I've seen that it can be easy for siblings to “get lost” amongst all that is happening when they have a brother or sister with life-threatening illness. 

Given the understandably consuming emotions and frequently busy environment, siblings are often left to understand and process what has been experienced or witnessed on their own.

Sympathetic adults often feel at a loss regarding how to disclose a sibling’s illness, or anticipated death, or how to prepare a sibling for such a death — a death that they themselves are still trying to grasp and reconcile.

For Olivia

My daughter Olivia died last December, just a few days before her third birthday. We had been working with JourneyCare for about a year and my entire family is so grateful to have had them in our lives. Hospice gave us a safe and trusting place to talk about all the difficult things that would arise in Olivia's life. It allowed me and Olivia's dad to have ongoing conversations about what kind of life we wanted for her, and it empowered us to do things that we might not have done with her had we never met her JourneyCare team. We were able to go on trips with her ― even taking her to SeaWorld because she loved the aquarium.

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