why we help siblings

At Post Pals we like to include brothers and sisters and have done from day one. Dominic B’s Mum eloquently explains what they go through and how your post helps.

Dominic has been in hospital for 4 and a half months. He goes through so much and constantly amazes me with his courage and humour. Since I have been sharing his journey with Post Pals and those who visit the site I have been constantly amazed that day after day we have had the pleasure of being reminded how much kindness still exists is the world.

Each and every letter and parcel that people send brightens his day. What perhaps goes unsaid all too often is how his being in hospital affects his brother and sister. Yes it’s awful for any child to be in hospital for a long time, or to live with disabilities or chronic health problems, but there is a different challenge faced by the siblings. In my family certainly, I think life is currently much harder for them in many ways. It’s easy to think that the children that remain at home when a child is ill and in hospital are lucky to be in good health and surrounded by their toys and home comforts. But I doubt, if anyone actually asked them, if they would feel lucky at all. For my two older children the most important thing in their life has been stolen away, as Mummy stays with Dominic in the hospital. The security, the bedtime kisses, the brushed hair in the morning and special way they like their breakfast is all snatched away as well. They are passed from one person to another in an effort to keep their basic needs met and they get only a phone call at night to tell Mummy everything, when they try and be brave, but always say the same thing ‘I just want you to come home Mummy’.

So yes Dominic undoubtedly benefits enormously from each smile that arrives in his hospital room and brightens his day, but the rest of the time he has me for all the kisses and cuddles he needs. He has nurses making a fuss and all the attention from the doctors who adore him. Attention is something that unfortunately is often over looked in the desperate struggle to organise childcare and keep life as ‘normal’ as possible for the other two. It often feels like Lilia and Elliot are the forgotten heroes in all of this. Bravely getting on with things, their true feelings only showing in the early hours when they can’t stop sobbing for Mummy.

Life will continue to be difficult for all the children when we return. Desperate to spend time with them and spoil them, but so busy caring for their little brother they will carry on making sacrifices. They sacrifice so much for their little brother both when he is in hospital and when we are home, they accept that we cannot do what their friends do and that nothing is ever ‘definitely’ going to happen, as you never know with a child like Dominic, and they have been disappointed too many times.

Post Pals is one charity that doesn’t forget about the brothers and sisters who are quietly and less obviously brave and coping with emotions and situations that would break most adults. The utter delight when they get letters and parcels that are addressed to them or include them has caused me to shed a tear on more than one occasion. They deserve the smiles just as much as Dominic, and I truly think it makes being the brave older brother or sister that little bit easier.

So a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who has taken the time to post something that has brought such a lot of joy to all of my family, each smile is one more moment when they get to be the carefree children that they should be.