It was suggested that sibling grief is unique because you are grieving a person that you likely have known your whole life, or likely a significant part of it. Sharing a childhood with another person (or in my case, several other persons) is a unique sort of bond. Sharing parents and living under the same roof unites children in many unforeseen ways. Kids growing up in the same home share similar experiences, though certainly with significantly different perspectives. Even still, there is a bond in that shared experience that is hard to describe.
I know that having my brother gone feels sort of like a part of me is missing. Like an important part of the recipe that makes me, has been left out somehow.
It feels especially less than whole when I am with my other siblings, when we are together as a unit and one of us is not there. It seems strange that we would be there without him, like the picture is not complete. We all feel the same way, as it is usually just a matter of minutes or hours before someone mentions his name or somehow reminds us of that missing presence.
I have learned to appreciate that feeling. I have learned to embrace it. Part of that is because I see how all that fits into God’s design. He created us with a unique sort of connection with a sibling, so that we understand his desire for a equally strong connection between his own children.
I love to consider how God uses the analogy of “brothers” and “sisters” in scripture. I love how he taps into our natural sense of connection between siblings to inspire a sense of connectedness to his fellow children.
“Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.” 1 John 2:10
I am also struck with the challenges that God sets up for us when we are to reach out to a “brother” who is lost. He talks about the love that is required to bring him back into the family, and to grieve for him until he is back there.
‘”Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” Galatians 6:1
As a sibling I get that. As one who has lost a brother, I understand the intensity in that loss and love that emotion God is trying to incite in us towards his children.
What a blessing these moments spent as a sibling, how precious even the feelings of loss can be as they help us understand God and his design better!