Reflections on the Death of a Sibling

In this session, we hear intimate reflections from those who have lost siblings, in different circumstances and at different stages of life.

Grief expert Julia Samuel MBE describes how siblings grieving for lost brothers or sisters are often called the ‘hidden mourners’, for parental grief often takes centre stage when a child dies. Julia offers suggestions for alternative ways for children and young adults to be able to allow and express their grief, including through creative means.

Stuart Lawrence is the brother of murdered teenage Stephen Lawrence. It’s hard enough to lose a sibling to natural causes, but Stuart describes how his grief remains hard to process when he just can’t make any sense of the tragic loss of his brother.

We hear from author Cathy Rentzenbrink, whose memoir, The Last Act of Love, describes the heartbreaking decisions and aftermath her family had to live through after her brother was left in a vegetative state after a car accident.

Writer Eve Ainsworth’s brother died of alcohol misuse. Eve admits to feeling guilt at the flicker of relief that arose when he’d passed, and describes the exhausting cycle of ever-changing emotions that will be familiar to anyone who’s lost a sibling.

Image by Simon Bray from Loved + Lost


Facilitator, Stuart Lawrence, Good Grief Bristol

Stuart Lawrence

Julia Samuel MBE

Facilitator Cathy Rentzenbrick

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Dr Lesel Dawson