Another key to understanding the uniqueness of grief in youth are the many physical changes they are going through just being teens. Their bodies are changing radically. For some it is hard for their wardrobes to keep up. When their bodies ache from the physical changes and the heart aches from loss, life can be overwhelming. They may already be moody and grief intensifies that.
- to come alongside them,
- spend time with them,
- listen to them, and listen some more
- assure them that they are feeling is normal
- It is important for them to know they have support and what they are experiencing is normal. For them these feelings may seem to last forever, but being reminded that it is temporary is important. Just like growing pains, the grief will subside. They will heal. This is temporary, long and drawn our but temporary none the less.
“Even though I wrote quite a bit in my journal I wish I had written more. I’m having hard days helps to read my words and see how far I’ve come since that day” Katie age 15
Making journals is a good hands on expression of their grief, honoring the loved one they lost. Use an inexpensive composition book and cover it with a collage with their own drawings or pictures, phrases, and words cut from magazines that remind them of their loved ones.
This journal becomes a safe place to write their thoughts, poems, stories, and draw pictures of what they are feeling at a given time during their grief journeys. Then they can go back to these journals and see their progress over time. The outside of the journal represents not only how unique their loved ones were but also their own uniqueness.
Excerpt from Tattooed By Grief by Cari Zorno