When a child loses a brother, sister or parent the world becomes a very dark place. Although surrounded by classmates and friends, they mostly feel alone, isolated- wondering how can everyone else be laughing and going around doing the same things they always did ... "my whole world has come to a standstill!"
They may go through the motions, but their minds are in chaos. How do they make sense of their loss? Why did this happen? "Who will ever understand how *I* feel?"
SIBSPlace is a free therapeutic community service program of South Nassau Communities Hospital. Since 2000, a team of mental health professionals has provided support to well children living with a brother or sister with cancer, or another devastating illness. We then expanded to include well children living with a parent with cancer.
Now, we are offering a highly requested service on the South Shore of Long Island to children who are bereaved, due to the loss of a parent or sibling.
Our six week support group session, on Wednesdays from 4:30-6PM will help children:
- Tell the story of their loss
- Talk about the approach of special occasions such as: birthdays and holidays and adjust to celebrating milestone events- such as graduations- without their loved one
- Identify qualities they possess that they internalized from their loved one
- Identify a way to say good-bye if they feel they “missed the opportunity”
- Consider the message they would like to share with the person who died
- Discuss who can fill some of the roles now left vacant
- Journal as a means of self-expression
- Develop tactics for “remembering”
- Explore the need to create new traditions
We hope you'll keep us in mind when you learn of a child in your school in need of a place to be with peers, where they can learn and use coping skills to navigate a life that has been turned upside down and thrown them off-balance.
If you are interested in learning more about SIBSPlace, please contact
Suzanne Kornblatt, LMSW, at (516) 374-3000.
“SIBSPlace…A Place Where A Child Matters Most!”
SIBSPlace • 1420 Broadway • Hewlett, NY 11557 • (516) 374-3000 • sibsplace.org