Many adult siblings find that they become closer to each other following a parent’s death and subsequent funeral services. But others find that unresolved issues and past rivalries come to the surface. At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we would like to offer the following tips for avoiding sibling conflict following the loss of a parent.
In some families, parents serve as the middleman between siblings. In these families, one sibling shares news with the parents, then the parents share this news with the other siblings. Following the death of a parent within these families, the siblings tend to lose contact with one another. Calling or writing a message to siblings directly shows that you want to stay in touch. Don’t be discouraged if your efforts are met with little response initially; new routines take time to be adopted.
Show Appreciation for Your Sibling’s Efforts
If you want a more positive dynamic to come from your sibling relationships, you must make an effort. You need to also recognize efforts your sibling has made, as this is very important for neutralizing conflict.
Step Outside Your Role
Lots of siblings grow up feeling like they have a role in the family. As an adult, these roles can cause resentment and tension. Step out of your role to offer assistance and gratitude. Give your siblings an apology for any responsibility you had in causing your siblings stress, whether it was decades ago or a rift that occurred before or after the funeral services. In many cases it can be helpful to seek the service of a mediator or counselor. Going through past issues can help foster perspective and empathy.
Dealing with loss typically involves tension of some sort. At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago, we want to help in any way that we can. In addition to our funeral memorial services, we offer grief and support services. Call us at (773) 846-6567 or browse our website for more information.