Siblings of the Month - December 2018
Hands Filled with Love

The holidays can be especially difficult for families after a sibling has died. You may not feel much like celebrating, and it may feel like there is a big empty space.  Some might want to keep special traditions and share memories, but for others it may be too hard. It is important to remember that everyone grieves differently and it is important to share your hopes and wishes for the upcoming holidays with your family.  It is important to discuss with one another about how you will celebrate as a family this year.  You may even come up with a new tradition.

Because the holidays are here, we also wanted to take the opportunity this month to honor our Friends of Karen Siblings who are grieving the death of a brother or sister.  Many of these siblings and their families created a special project during this year’s Friends of Karen memorial event.  The families traced their hands and shared what incredible things their hands were able to provide for their brothers or sisters.  It was a powerful way for these families to talk about and to remember their siblings. You may want to do this with your family and use your special hands to create a family poem as a way to remember and to decorate this holiday season. Please take a look at the beautiful images and the poem.

With These Hands

Written by the families of Friends of Karen


We use our hands to…

Help, hold and comfort.


These hands have…

Carried my child, cooked your favorite meal and help support you in sickness.

We’ve used our hands to hold each of yours



To cuddle with you,

To hug

To pick up stuff.

These hands have…

Helped others in need

And held many children with love.


I’ve used my hands to love you,

To bake you a cake on your birthday,

To rebuild, to touch and

Caress those I love.


These hands have…

 hugged and held

played games,

Secret handshakes with family

And high 5’s


I used these hands to play with Kamilo.

These hands have…

changed the channel,

Gave you your medicine

and prayed for you.


These hands have…

Held Leandra’s hand while we fell asleep in the hospital bed.


Tickled her

We always loved walking hand in hand


Gotten in trouble with her- throwing shredded paper around in a “snow fight”

With my hands I braided Leandra’s long beautiful hair.


These hands took care of you the best they could.

With these hands…

I clapped with you.


These hands used to hold your bottom when I had the chance

to carry you

On your good days.


Round and round the garden like a Teddy Bear.


I used my hands to express my love for you…

To hold you

To love

To protect you forever

Because I love you


We use our hands to offer you ourselves and never let go

To give you more strength from embraces


We used our hands to take pictures with peace signs and bunny ears.

To carry you

Bathe you

Play with you

And give you food.


We use these hands to show the world your memories

And to keep you alive

In our hearts and minds.


To touch your face in pictures

To hold the ones I love

These hands have loved, comforted and nourished

And wrestled you in the living room.

We’ve used our hands to keep you strong,

To help you


These hands have





In memory of all the children

We have held in our hands

With love.



For additional resources and information on helping your children cope with the loss of a sibling, please visit The Dougy Center at