Surviving the death of a brother or sister is not a phase of life that eventually passes. Sibling survival is a life-long achievement. Letters from a Friend: A Sibling's Guide for Coping and Grief recognizes this and celebrates not only the life of the brother or sister who has died but the lives and spirits of their sibling survivors.
This unique workbook is a comprehensive compilation of therapeutic activities developed to address the needs and issues of children and adolescents following the death of a brother or sister. The workbook is organized into distinct topic-specific sections relating to sibling hospitalization, illness, injury, and death. Games, creative writing, and drawing exercises offer opportunities to share feelings and relay experiences in a non-threatening format. Pages are designed for easy removal to allow personalization of the text for a survivor's own experiences and interests. Letters from a Friend may be used by children or teens independently to create a personal journal of their bereavement and coping processes as well as a chronicle of their lives as surviving siblings.
Opportunities for family interaction and bonding are available when parents, caregivers, and surviving siblings review or complete guide activities together. In this capacity, the workbook serves as a catalyst to open communication about the deceased brother or sister and other related, potentially sensitive topics.
Child life specialists, counselors, therapists, and other health care professionals can use select activities to assess a child's or teen's emotional health and coping strategies. Optimally, such guidance and direction from professionals will provide siblings with beneficial insights and objective alternative perspectives of their personal experiences.