“Don’t ignore your feelings, run from them, or hide from them, because they will get you no matter where you are. For me it was best to feel them in the moment; I’d allow myself 30 minutes to grieve, and then move on with my day.” Jocelyn, age13
Grieving is hard work that can only be done in short bursts of intense pain. The pain needs to be broken up with activity as a friend you may:
- Suggest going for a walk,
- Shoot hoops with them
- Go swimming together
- Watch a funny or action movie
All these can be good releases for the tension of grief. The pain needs to be broken into manageable pieces. It is unhealthy to be expected to be sad all the time. Emotions will be a rollercoaster ride. So, be patient. This is why it is so important for youth to know they do not need to walk this journey alone. Going through it with support, with community, makes it easier.. When a teen seems constantly sad, it may be time to seek professional help they may be suffering from depression.
Grief is temporary, although we do not know how long it will last since each loss is unique. Assure your friend:
- What they are feeling right now is temporary. No matter how long it feels like it takes, it is temporary. These feelings will not last forever. Honestly, depending on the relationship, it could be either a few months or a few years before they move forward in their lives.
- Everyone’s grief is unique. They shouldn’t compare their grief with someone elses.
* A recent study by Lebel and Beaulieu reinforces findings that the human brain doesn’t stop developing at adolescence but continues well into our twenties. This contributes to a teen’s inability to grasp cause and effect and to understand that what they are feeling is temporary. The concept of the temporariness of grief needs to be repeated frequently.
Copyright Cari Zorno Tattooed by Grief 2014