Dealing with someone else’s relationship grief

Dear Meredith,

This is a question about helping someone else through a loss. I'm dealing with the death of my sibling (keeping it all generic so the parties involved don't know I am asking for advice). Obviously my sibling is gone, but the drama is coming from someone they dated.

The calling hours and funeral were awful because of the drama generated by this person acting as if they were the left-behind long-time spouse, as opposed to the long-distance relationship of a few months. They said things at the funeral that just made people feel bad, and really upset the young child of my sibling. This public display has continued with Facebook posts and continued messages of love.

Meanwhile, my sibling had other romantic liaisons/relationships – several, simultaneous relationships. (I know because I have the cell phone – we've been using it to deal with shutting down accounts, etc.) I'm tempted to say something to this person about the other relationships. I'm hoping it might help them move on. I know it will help me if they stop posting all of this stuff. Am I just being selfish or would this person truly be better knowing they weren't "the one and only"?

– Selfish?


I'm so sorry for your loss – and that another person's grief seems to be eclipsing your own.

My advice is to block this person as much as possible. You don't have to see their Facebook feed or follow them on any social media accounts. If they ask why you've limited communication, you can explain that your family needs some privacy during this difficult time.

I wouldn't bother letting this person know about the other romantic relationships. That information might help them move on, but it could also make things worse – or suggest that you're someone who wants to talk about this stuff. Really, you just want it to go away.

If this person continues to assert their place in your sibling's word (showing up to more events, contacting you, making any demands, etc.), you can reach out and explain the family's boundaries and that you need to focus on the young child who's coping with the loss of a parent. But ... something tells me this person will go away on their own. They'll find people who are more interested in their pain.

Don't feel selfish about hitting that block button. It's about self-care and doing what's best for the people you love.

– Meredith

Readers? Would you share the information about the sibling's dating life?