The healing value of Bereaved Sibling Days

Mum Daniela Ruberto shares why the Bereaved Sibling Days run by Very Special Kids help her children James and Simon after their brother Marcus lost his battle to a brain tumour.

As a family, we cannot thank Very Special Kids enough for the wonderful support shown to our family over the past seven years.  Our son Marcus was five years old when he lost his battle to a brain tumour.  He was the eldest brother to James and Simon.  At the time of his passing James was four years old and Simon was five months old.

James has attended nearly every Very Special Kids Bereaved Sibling Day from the time he was six years old.  After the first Bereaved Sibling Day James went to, he returned home quite emotional and very teary. We believe the day helped him address a lot of the sadness he felt inside that he was unsure how to express.

We remember him saying ‘Mum, you know today all the kids there have lost a brother or sister, at school in my class it’s just me, but today everyone has’.  Participating in the day made him understand that he truly was not alone. Sadly, he also now understood that we belonged to a special group of families that have lost loved ones way too young.

Bereaved Sibling Days have become a part of our school holiday program and James looks forward to them very much.  He enjoys the different themes, loves the activities, talks often of the candle lighting ceremony, sharing memories of his brother and has made lifelong friends.

For the first time this year James has “allowed” his younger brother Simon to attend.  Simon was an infant when he lost his older brother Marcus, so his experiences were vastly different to James’.  James has memories of Marcus, while Simon has heard stories and created memories through us.

Bereaved Sibling day always belonged to James it was his “Marcus time”, it will be lovely for the two brothers to now share “Marcus time” together.


Read more about bereavement support at Very Special Kids here.