Talking with Teens

  • hide Things that May Help with Grief

    • Being acknowledged (knowing people are thinking of them)
    • Working (staying busy)
    • Helping (getting out and helping others can help diminish grief)
    • Sharing (feelings of loneliness can decrease when common experiences are shared)
    • Talking (it's always helpful to have a good listener)
    • Crying (brings relief)
    • Laughing (it's okay and healthy to laugh and have a good time)
    • Hugging (it often meant more than words could say)
    • Being with friends (staying in comfortable environment)
    • Being alone (time to process individually)

    Things that hurt

    • Being avoided (people did not know what to do or say)
    • Being pushed to talk (sometimes I did not feel like talking or did not like people being nosy)
    • Feeling different (people whispered about me, looked at me. Sometimes I just wanted to forget what had happened and feel normal again)
    • Being offered a replacement (like people saying I should get another dog or that my mother should have another baby)
    • Not being asked (it hurt when people asked my friends what happened because they were afraid to ask me)
    • Being told how to feel ("you shouldn't cry, don't be angry, you should be over this by now, everyone feels that way," etc.)

    Ways to Express Sympathy

    • Say "I'm sorry this happened to you."
    • Give a hug, take some flowers, bake some cookies, lend a teddy bear, listen
    • Do not be afraid to mention the dead person's name
    • Remember to keep in touch
    • Find out if s/he wants to do routine activities or wants a break
    • Do not act embarrassed if a grieving friend cries or laughs...just be there

    Things that might be a support to grieving teenagers

    • Keeping a diary or a journal
    • Joining a support group of peers who are also grieving
    • Writing letters of regrets and appreciations to the one who has died.