Story by Breanna Sill, Staff writer
On April 24, an explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin, Kentucky shook a community to its core. Fourteen days later, Kyle Rogers, a Murray State alumnus, was taken off life support and died from his injuries suffered in the explosion. His sister Allison Rogers, senior from Murray, survives him.
Now, six months after the death of her brother, Rogers has started her own support group for young adults who also have lost their siblings.
Rogers was inspired to start the group after receiving a large amount of support from a family friend, Kimberly Bridges of Murray, after the death of Kyle. Bridges had recently lost a brother as well.
“Whenever my brother passed she [Bridges] texted me and said ‘Hey, I know exactly what you’re going through, if you need anything let me know,’” Rogers said. “So I guess it was sort of after that, we started texting each other every day and knowing that we had that support who knew what we were going through.”
Rogers has since found 10 other students who have experienced similar circumstances.
The group, Young Adult Sibling Loss Support Group, is a private Facebook group where people can go to talk or post pictures of the siblings they have lost.
Apart from the Facebook group, the group has plans to begin meeting in person at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Baptist Campus Ministry building at 800 Waldrop Drive.
Rogers said she believes incorporating Facebook as part of the support group is important because for some, meeting and talking face to face can be hard, especially for people who are grieving.
“Grief is completely different for everyone,” Rogers said. “It feels different and it looks different for everyone who experiences it.”
She explained that by saying she cannot compare losing her own brother to Bridges losing hers.
“Kimberly lost her brother,” she said. “I can know how it feels to lose my brother, but I can never know how it feels to lose her brother, to lose that particular person from my life.”
Grief Share is another support group, dealing with all forms of loss, with a chapter locally at the Hardin Baptist Church in Hardin, Kentucky. However, Rogers said her group is different because it focuses specifically on sibling loss.
“There was another support group nearby, but a lot of those people were parents who had lost children,” she said. “Personally, I needed to talk to someone who had lost a sibling themselves to understand what I was going through.”
Rogers hopes this group is able to give young adults, ages 18-35, a safe place to go to feel comfortable talking about their grief and the siblings they have lost.
“For some people, it’s kind of uncomfortable to talk about the sibling that you have lost,” she said. “Some people are like, ‘I don’t know if I should say something or not,’ and sometimes we just want to talk about our siblings and memories we have about them. This gives us a safe place to do that.”
If interested in being a part of the group, Rogers asks that students email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.