Helping Teens Cope With Parental Loss

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, December 14, 2020

The loss of a loved one is never an easy shoulder to bear, much less so when you are a teenager. The loss of a parent or guardian can weigh heavily on the mind and spirit. It can be hard to find comfort or release during these times, and it is important to try to help them find ways to overcome your grief.

Grief and Adolescence

Grief, in its most basic definition, is a series of hormonal and emotional reactions to loss or pain. Couple that emotional weight with your average teenage hormones; and the backlash can be quite painful. Teenagers are often dealing with issues of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Grief can exacerbate these issues and can make them much worse.

Feeling Alone

It is common for a teenager to feel alone in the world after the loss of a close one, especially a parent. Not only is there a void left in your heart by the deceased, but it can also be incredibly difficult for people to understand what you are going through. Friends may not know what to say to comfort them. Family might not be able to help them with the burdens of responsibility that may come with the loss of a parent. Grief can make us feel isolated. It is important to help guide them to be understanding of those who may not fully understand what you are going through. Most of them are trying to help in whatever way they can.

Check With Other Adults in Their Life

Teachers, school counselors, coaches, and managers often be a resource to see how your family member is doing when you are not with them. Check with the other adults in their life, to make sure that they are doing alright.

Drugs or Alcohol

Today, teenagers have more access to drugs or alcohol than ever before. It is important to make sure that your loved one is not abusing these substances, which can alter their judgment or affect their grief. Drugs and alcohol tend to numb the grief, but it is not sustainable, and can often make the pain of loss worse over time. 

Treat Them Like an Adult

One of the worst things you can do with a grieving teenager is to address them as if they are a child. It is OK to provide guidance in their time of need, but treat them like an adult. Don’t talk down to them, and actively listen when they decide to open up to you.

 

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here
For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Oversized Caskets FAQ

Caskets are generally designed to fit a wide assortment of body types. However, some people may require an oversized casket. An oversized casket is used if an individual’s height, weight, or width ...

Flying With Cremated Remains

Traveling with cremated remains, or cremains can have its challenges. Whether you are moving to a new state or country or bringing your loved one home with you, it is important to understand the pr...

Processing Grief Through Reading for Children

Grief can be hard at any age, but for children and young teens, expressing and processing grief can be especially challenging. It is a very complex emotion, and some children may not be able to ful...

Searching for the Right Grief Counselor

The passing of a loved one can be incredibly painful. The grief of loss often seems unbearable. After the death of someone close, some extra guidance can be helpful. Grief counselors assist those w...

Valentine's Day Without Your Significant Other

Holidays can often be a trigger for grief after the loss of a spouse or long-term partner. Memories of holidays together can pop up from store displays, themed commercials, and more. With Valentine...

Celebrating the Passing of a Long Life

After a long life lived, losing an elderly loved one can be devastating. Your whole life, they have been there for you, and now they are gone. But after a long life lived, it is also an opportunity...

Metal or Wood Caskets

Choosing a casket is an important part of the funeral process. Many families choose the casket after their loved one has passed, but some people choose their casket ahead of time. This article will...

Common Misconceptions About Therapy

Many people have misconceptions about therapy. There is often a lot of fear and stigma around therapy. However, it is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Your emotional and me...

New Years Resolutions for Older Individuals

With the new year comes a new time to set goals and resolutions. For many, resolutions can be hard to keep and are often passed up by February or March. Planning out realistic goals is an important...

Bank Accounts and The Death of a Loved One

When a death occurs in the family, there can be a lot of different things to juggle, including money. Bills, your mortgage, and all sorts of other important paperwork can be thrown into chaos other...