Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan: Research, Practice, and Personal Stories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan

Research, Practice, and Personal Stories, 1st Edition

Edited by Brenda J. Marshall, Howard R. Winokuer


204 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan brings together researchers, clinicians, and bereaved siblings to explore sibling loss. Unique in both form and content, the book focuses on loss within five key age ranges—childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, adulthood, and late adulthood—and losses within a special topics section that addresses areas of interest across multiple age groups. In addition to chapters from researchers and clinicians, the book includes personal stories from bereaved siblings who describe the lived experience of this loss.


"This is a timely, groundbreaking contribution by an eminent group of scholars with a wide range of perspectives that results in a treasure trove of useful lessons, penetrating insights, and practical approaches for managing sibling grief. Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan is a unique, valuable resource!"

Gerry R. Cox, PhD, professor emeritus, Center for Death Education & Bioethics, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

"Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan is a unique contribution to our understandings of bereavement, incorporating as it does both developmental perspectives and contributions from researchers, clinicians, and individuals who describe their personal encounters with the death of a brother or sister. Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan is an invaluable resource for researchers, educators, and counselors, one that will spark further interest in additional dimensions of this woefully understudied subject area."

Charles A. Corr, PhD, member, board of directors, Suncoast Hospice Institute, an affiliate of Empath Health, Clearwater, Florida

"The death of a brother or sister has a unique impact on a sibling, particularly at a young age but also throughout life. Profound feelings, including neglect, guilt, and vulnerability, can persist and impact one’s view of the world. Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan addresses this understudied area with insight, depth, and compassion. It is essential for the library of anyone seriously interested in grief and loss."

Stephen R. Connor, PhD, executive director, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance

"While children have been called the ‘forgotten grievers,’ perhaps the least recognized are those bereaved by the death of a sibling. Given that more than 80% of us have brothers or sisters, we’re increasingly likely to experience the loss of one or more throughout our lifetime. Blending research, theory, and personal experience, this book captures the uniqueness of sibling loss from varied perspectives."

Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, senior director of advocacy & training, executive director emeritus, The Dougy Center

"When my only sister was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, my heart sank and I lost ten pounds while she was undergoing treatment. Sibling loss is a neglected area that touches many people deeply and yet is seldom discussed nor acknowledged. This book is truly inspiring and educational, and it beautifully integrates research, practice, and personal stories of sibling loss across the lifespan. I strongly recommend it to everyone."

Cecilia L. W. Chan, BSocSc, MSocSc, PhD, RS, JP, Si Yuan Professor of Health and Social Work, The University of Hong Kong

"This is an important book with helpful insights. It will be of value to anyone working with grieving individuals and families or studying to do so. It has much to commend it."

Neil Thompson, PhD, DLitt, author of Grief and Its Challenges and board member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword Foreword Kenneth J. Doka Preface Brenda J. Marshall and Howard R. Winokuer Editor Biographies ContributorsTheoretical Models Guiding our Understanding of Sibling Bereavement David W. Kissane and Nadine A. Kasparian Section One: Childhood (Birth-11) 1. Shadows in the Sun: Towards Understanding the Grief of Young Siblings Betty Davies 2. Why Did My Sister Have to Die? Helping Children with Sibling Death Linda Goldman 3. Growing Up Grieving Alicia Sims Franklin 4. A Brother’s Loss Christopher Lourenco Section Two: Adolescence (12-17) 5. Adolescent Sibling Lossavement David E. Balk, Corinne Cavuoti, and Anne M. Smith 6. Bereaved Adolescent Siblings: The Forgotten Mourners Jennifer Kaplan Schreiber 7. Michelle’s Story Rose Planer 8. Losing My Brother at Fourteen Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn Section Three: Emerging Adulthood (18-30) 9. Living the Moment….Envisioning the Future Ann Laverty 10. Making Clinical Sense of Sibling Bereavement: Ordinary People as a Case Study Simon Shimshon Rubin 11. The Happiness of Moving Forward: Sibling Suicide Loss Twenty Years Later Michelle L. Rusk 12. Brother and Sister Always Rayna Vaught Godfrey Section Four: Adulthood (31-59) 13. Sibling Loss in Adulthood: Narrative Reflections Brenda J. Marshall 14. While the World Mourned a Hero, I Mourned my Murdered Brother: The Case of Barbara, a Bereaved 9/11 Sibling Cori Bussolari and Heidi Horsley 15. Honoring Donna Lyn Prashant 16. On My Only Brother’s Death H.D. ("De") Kirkpatrick Section Five: Late Adulthood (60 plus) 17. Clinical Issues Related to Sibling Loss in Older Adulthood Jason M. Holland and Vincent Rozalski 18. A Letter to my Brother Carol L. Sachs 19. The Death of a Sister and a Brother Gloria Horsley Section Six: Special Topics 20. Sibling Grief After Suicide Diana C. Sands 21. Sibling Grief and Its Effect on the Family System Kathleen R. Gilbert and Rebecca J. Gilbert 22. The Impact on Siblings When a Parent Dies Howard R. Winokuer 23. Disappearance, not Death: The Ambiguous Loss of a Missing Sibling Pauline Boss and Patty Wetterling 24. The Dirt on Sibling Grief: A Look at Bereavement Camps Tina Barrett and Molly Pickett 25. Epilogue Brenda J. Marshall and Howard R. Winokuer Index

About the Editor

Brenda J. Marshall, PhD, is a well-known speaker, facilitator, coach, and founder of the Solacium Group and FLOW Learning Group in Ontario, Canada.

Howard R. Winokuer, PhD, is the founder of the Winokuer Center for Counseling and Healing in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a well-known author and internationally renowned speaker.

About the Series

Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Volumes published in the Series in Death, Dying and Bereavement are representative of the multidisciplinary nature of the intersecting fields of death studies, suicidology, end-of-life care, and grief counseling.

The series meets the needs of clinicians, researchers, paraprofessionals, pastoral counselors, and educators by providing cutting edge research, theory, and best practices on the most important topics in these fields—for today and for tomorrow.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health