Adults don’t know how to grieve, you can bet teens don’t either. Most are completely baffled what it’s all about. And most think “being strong” means denying or pushing away one’s feelings.
The Dougy Center, a foundation for grieving children, has many resources for youth of all ages including teenagers.
Here are links to resources on that website and this one:
Grief Resources for 12-18 year olds (Dougy.org)
Your friend is grieving. How to support them (Dougy.org)
Tips for grieving teens (Dougy.org)
Children, Teens & Suicide Loss eBook from AFSP and Dougy.org. Best book for parents ever!
One really good exercise is to write a Gratitude Letter. Here is an example of one I wrote to Charles. This is a good exercise for teens or adults.
How a 14-year-old Kiernan Gallagher felt after her father’s death by suicide.
How to prepare children to return to school after a suicide loss.
My teen just lost a friend to suicide. How can I help my child?
The most important aspect is listening and sitting with the pain instead of trying to “fix” what can’t be fixed.
- Help your grieving teenager (links to good guides- web page)
- A guide from the Dougy Center on how friends and family can help a loved one through the struggle of a suicide loss (pdf)
- My teen just lost a friend to suicide. How can I help my child?
- Helping Teenagers with the Death Of A Sibling-Children’s Grief Awareness Month (there is a section on “Helping Teenagers Grieve”- web page)
- Free eBook: Coping Strategies for Grief & Loss (web page with ebook)
- My award-winning memoir, Diary of a Broken Mind, which has helped a lot of young people understand the pain and the ‘why’ behind suicide (this is not for immediately after a loss but to save for a few months after)
- Putting my life back together after my best friend’s suicide (web page)
- Breathing strategies to quiet anxiety or manage grief (web page with video)
- See all the guides for responding to loss here (there is a bereavement provider download)