Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Sibling Support Network creates step-by-step guide to support people who have lost siblings to a violent crime.
This past October, I was interviewing my childhood friend, Marvin who lost his brother Derrick to a violent crime in the 90's. As we were walking along, his steps came to a full stop when he said "...and there's no training on how to deal with death, you just do it." I fell silent, and couldn't do anything but nod my head in agreement.
In the days following that interview, I started focusing on how many of us are left alone to process loss. The conversation between, Marvin and I made me reflect upon articles I'd read over the year on everything from death rituals to mourning and grieving practices, and the lack thereof. It also lead me into formal and informal conversations with friends, family members, and a mental health professional name, Velma Bell on the mentioned topics, and everything in between.
For years, I'd been sitting on the idea of writing something to address the needs of people who have lost our siblings to a violent crime. I never knew what shape it was going to take, and I'm proud to present to you today, the manifestation of my idea. The Siblings Support Network- Support Guide is a process to follow when it comes to assisting a person who has lost either a blood-related or fictive kin sibling to a violent crime. The guide isn't an exhaustive guide because there's no way I could cover everything, nor is it a substitute to seeking or receiving professional help. It is, however, an introduction to a process we can follow to ensure the health and well-being of those who have the loss of a sibling to violent crime.
Right now, you can download the pdf version of the guide for free. Printed versions of the guide will be available soon for the suggested donations of $5, not including shipping. If you're an organization, church, or institution that sees value in the guide, and would like to purchase a large quantity, email firstname.lastname@example.org
I would also like to take this moment to thank, Tarris Washington, Kayla Thompson, Marvin Crumer, and Vincent Saletto for agreeing to appear in the guide, and to photographer Matthew Boyd for the amazing photographs. This guide was made possible by the generous support of creative director, Hal Curtis and team of Wieden+Kennedy, Portland.