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Sibling loss: ‘The grief was so physical and so tangible… I actually thought I was having some sort of breakdown’

After the sudden death of her younger sister Triona in 2017, Tyrone woman Maeveen McNabb and her sisters founded the Sibling Grief Club as a space for other bereaved siblings to access coping resources

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Maeveen McNabb is the co-founder of the Sibling Grief Club. Photo: Kelvin Boyes

Maeveen McNabb is the co-founder of the Sibling Grief Club. Photo: Kelvin Boyes

Triona died in 2017 aged 34

Triona died in 2017 aged 34

Maeveen McNabb with her sisters Edel, Cathy and late sister Triona

Maeveen McNabb with her sisters Edel, Cathy and late sister Triona

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Maeveen McNabb is the co-founder of the Sibling Grief Club. Photo: Kelvin Boyes

My sister Triona got sick in November 2016. She was nauseous and vomiting and it went on for weeks. Her GP told her there was a terrible gastro bug going around and that it would go away with time. Triona had Crohn’s disease so she was very used to being unwell. She was one of those people who could function very well [when she was sick], whereas the rest of us would take to the bed.

But she knew herself it was more than a tummy bug. It was going on too long and because she had been sick for so long in her twenties, she was really aware of her own body. She went back to her GP a few times and they were adamant that it was just a bug.


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