After a cremation service in Bellingham, WA, our teenage children who have lost a loved one – whether it’s a close family member or a close friend – or someone they know of or from school will experience grief, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
Teenagers who have experienced loss, whether it’s the death of a friend, the death of a loved one, or the death of someone they know, will need a lot of support as they go through the grieving process.
There are many reasons for why teenager need a different kind of support as they grieve. One reason is because of the hormonal highs and lows of adolescence, which can take their moods and feelings all over the place.
Another reason is that teenagers at the precipice between complete dependence on the adults around them and breaking away from in complete independence from those same adults, and experiencing death will cause fluctuations in their desire to cling to the adults in their life and disconnecting from them.
Teenagers are less apt to openly express their grief, unlike small children who, while not being able to always tangibly express their feelings, will most certainly act them out in quite open ways.
However, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, and clergy (if applicable), we as the adults in our teenagers’ lives need to be aware, observant, and actively supportive of them as they travel through the journey of grief.
Teenagers who experience a loss and the grief that comes with it can feel as though a chasm has been created between them and their peers at the exact time in their lives where fitting in is important.
That is why teenagers need a comprehensive network of support while they are grieving that helps them to stay grounded and protected from bullying, which can be inflicted by other teens who seen in them what they perceive as weakness in others.
One way we can support our teenagers while they are grieving is to get them professional grief counseling. If we, as immediate family members, are struggling with our own grief, this can create more anxiety and a misplaced sense of responsibility in our grieving teenagers. This can lead them to be overwhelmed with stress. It’s a good idea to seek grief counseling both as a family, and individually for our teenagers and ourselves.
All of us adults in the lives of our teenagers who are experiencing grief need to work together to make sure that they have a very strong support network. Our grieving teenagers need to be able to identify everyone in their support network. While they may not want to speak with us as their parents, they may be willing to confide in aunts, uncles, coaches, or teachers that they feel more comfortable talking to about what they’re feeling and going through.
One very important way that we can support our grieving teenagers is to just listen to them when they want to talk. Our teenagers may be very sorrowful or very angry, and they need a safe place to express those feelings.
Our job is to listen to what they are saying so that we understand what issues our grieving teenagers are grappling with as they process the death of a loved one, a close friend, or someone they know.
Although teenagers are mature enough to know about the reality of death, they may still process the experience with ideas and assumptions about death and grief that are not true or misunderstood.
Once we’ve heard our teenagers out, we can take the opportunity to address their issues, their concerns, and gently correct the things they don’t know or understand, which will bring greater peace and faster healing for them.
For information about a cremation service in Bellingham, WA our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Greenacres Memorial Park is here to help.