Help for Teens

Teen 4

Hi. Glad you made it here. Chances are, you know someone who died. It might have been your mother or father. Your sister or brother. Your friend. It may have happened a long time ago or just recently. What has it been like for you?

Randy, a sophomore in high school, was 14 when his dad died of colon cancer. This is how he describes the experience of grieving the death of his dad:

“It’s been six months since my dad died. I haven’t told my friends how I feel. I just smile and make everybody laugh so they don’t know how much it hurts. I don’t talk to my mom because I don’t want her to feel worse. Once I did, but she got all teary. I felt like crying too. No way am I going to cry.”

Maybe you can relate to Randy. Or maybe you’ve felt some of these things:

I’m the only one.
No one understands what I’m going through, but they think they do.
I can’t talk to my friends about this.
I can’t talk to my parent(s) because they get too upset.
Everyone wants me to talk about my feelings and I don’t want to talk.
I just want to be alone.
I wish I didn’t feel so different.
When is this “grief” going to go away?
I am mad. I am sad. I hurt.
I don’t know what I feel.
I hate it when people tell me, “Move on.”

Sometimes it helps to talk to other people your own age who’ve had a death. Or to read about their experiences. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve a death. But there are some helpful and not-so-helpful ways that people grieve. You can learn about these things here.

Everyone grieves differently:
• One teen may want to talk about death
• Another may choose to cry
• One might write about their experiences in a journal or chat room
• Some choose to express their grief in creative/artistic ways
• Others are physical in their grief - participating in sports or other big energy activities
• No one way is the right way to grieve - your way of grieving is right for you

For more thoughts on grieving for teens, by teens, click here.