Sibling bereavement is a life-changing event with implications for the individual and family. In a study guided by Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics focused on sibling bereavement when the brother or sister dies for a drug-related reason, a critical realisation became apparent; it is possible to understand one person’s story from multiple standpoints. This is directly relevant to social work practice as different viewpoints make it possible to illuminate other aspects of the person’s experience keeping us open to hearing more, reflecting and willing to learn something new. A summary of the literature on the three subject areas is presented, as are the identified gaps that helped refine the research questions. A synopsis of what it means to conduct research underpinned by Gadamer’s philosophy is outlined and then elucidated through application to one participant’s interview. The article serves a dual purpose of presenting information on subject areas relating to drug and alcohol, thanatology and family therapy theory, promoting understanding in these horizons. The primary aim is to focus on one of the participants, Karen, from the larger study to show how different horizons bring different understandings to the fore. The article calls for social workers to expand their horizons of understanding.