The Reality Of Losing My Brother & Grieving With My Parents

There is truly nothing more heartbreaking.

depressed woman ArtistGNDphotography / Getty Images via Canva

By Larissa Martin

My brother died a year ago.

When it happened, I received love and support from everyone around me. Soon after it happened, a couple of my friends came over to check in on me and give their condolences.

I often heard (and still hear) sentences like, “I can’t imagine what your mom is going through” or “I don’t know what to say or do,” especially after seeing my mom for the first time after it happened. I understand where my friends were coming from; I really do.


Losing a child is the most unnatural and horrific thing that can happen to a parent. No one’s supposed to bury their child before they die themselves. It’s not natural or fair in any way possible, and I don’t wish that unimaginable pain on any parent.

Here is the thing, though: Yes, my mom lost her son. And while I don’t know what that’s like for her, I lost someone too.

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I lost a sibling. Someone who was a piece of me. Someone with whom I was supposed to grow old and celebrate things together. And now, that will never happen.

I get to have this constant reminder of my loss, and I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

This kind of loss and pain changes you forever — not in a good or bad way, but in a way that leaves you changed forever. And you will never be the same.

When a parent loses a child, and there are other kids in the picture, I think their siblings are often forgotten about. Their grief and sadness are seen and validated for a brief time, but after a while, it dissipates.

Unfortunately, after some time, all the focus goes back to the parents. Because they lost a child, and that is a traumatic experience for them. They lost their baby.


There is truly nothing more heartbreaking than that.

But at the same time, their siblings went through the same experience. But this is often overlooked because a parent is grieving a child, which is often deemed more important.

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Please remember that just because the parent-child relationship is different from the sibling-sibling one, it doesn’t make your loss less significant than your parents’ loss.

While it’s not a contest to see who’s in more pain, we should try to remember that that loss is a loss, no matter who experienced it. Grief is not a competition. Instead, it’s something that needs to be healed and definitely not compared with the parent and sibling.


When someone we care about loses a loved one, we need to focus on them and their entire family.

We need to support the whole family, not just the parents or the siblings but everyone. This type of pain needs support to heal and be acknowledged for what it is.

Losing a loved one means losing a big piece of yourself forever, one that they can never get back. I think if more people understood that, people wouldn’t forget siblings when grief happens to a family.


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Larissa Martin is a writer whose work has been featured on MSN, Yahoo Lifestyle, Thrive Global, Unwritten, YourTango, and The Mighty.