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Frequently Asked Questions - Siblings

Siblings and parents share information and answer frequently asked questions about SIDS:

How did your friends react when your baby brother/sister died?

We post a Sibling Question to the SIDS List Server Discussion Area and on the SIDS Information Web Site every two weeks. Responses can be emailed to us at sidsnet1-at-sids-network-dot-org, attention, Jay Mihalko or posted to the SIDS List Server Discussion Area, attention, Jay Mihalko. We will then post the responses to this page of the web site. The responses are opinions and no one person is right or wrong. We do not need to include an individual's name or any other identifying factors unless the author requests to be identified in some way or they want their email address attached.

The question for May 11 - May 25, 1997 was:

How did your friends react when your baby brother/sister died?

Responses are listed below. Please feel free to add a response by e-mailing sidsnet1-at-sids-network-dot-org,attention, Jay Mihalko. Please include the question, your response, and include in the subject line "FAQ - Siblings"

My son Jacob was 6 years old and in grade 2 when my son Noah died. He had started a new school one week prior to his brothers death. The day after the funeral Jacob returned to school, the teacher didn't hide the subject from the class and informed Jacob that the class had been praying for him and his family. She invited the funeral director to speak to the class about death and dying. The class then took a trip to the funeral home to try and understand death better. The children were so understanding and sympethetic to Jacob that he felt very comforted by their interest and support. Children are so honest that they are not concerned about saying the wrong thing, they simply say what is in their hearts. Weeks later, a boy in Jacobs class said "I'm really sorry that your brother died". Jacob said thank you and told me later that he was so glad that his friends cared.
At the beginning of the third grade when the students went to meet their new teacher, she began calling out role call. She would remark to different students about teaching an older brother or sister. When she called Jacob's name she said " aren't you the boy whose brother died?" Jacob was so hurt and offended that he was only recognized by such a traumatic event in his life, that he didn't want to go back to school. I really think that adults should take a lesson from children.

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