The last blog, In Their Own Words, we heard from a few people who had lost loved ones when they were young. I wanted to share with you one more story of a young girl who lost her father when she was 14 years old. I asked her to answer a few questions...her answers are as follows. I hope it gives you a glimpse into how a teenager may feel... Can you tell me a few things that were helpful in looking back when you lost your father?
"Getting back to my normal routine was probably the most helpful. When my father died it was the middle of summer before I went into High School, so it was already full of changes. Everyone wanted to be so watchful over my behaviors and attitudes, but I just want to move on. Sure, I had my grieving time and still do, but I’ve always been a doer so I wanted to get back to playing softball on my travel team and hang out with friends, which was most important to me at the time. Perhaps this getting back to normal was actually a way to pre-occupy my mind."
Was there anything that people said or did that was NOT helpful?
"Without a doubt I hated when people would say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you are going through.” Even though I would shake my head and say “Thank you.” All I wanted to do was scream, “NO YOU DON’T!” Since I was at the beginning of my teenage years, I suppose I also had a lot of attitude, I also didn’t like people to “baby” me about the situation. I wanted people to speak to me like an adult, tell me the facts about what and how the accident happened. Because of the circumstances of my father’s death, I felt like I was always being talked about when I was around my peer’s parents. Like they would whisper, “Oh, that’s the girl…” I don’t like being the center of attention, so even if I wasn’t really being whispered about it always gave me anxiety that they were."
What would you say kids need when grieving?
"I stayed with my father's family after the accident and found this opportunity to stay with them was very beneficial. Probably because I never spoke to a grief counselor or any other type of counselor about my situation. I found it as a way to be with others going through the grieving process together. I think doing an activity that reminds one of the person they lost can help with the grieving process. Or even today when I do an activity I might have once done with my father, I think of him always."
Every child and teen grieves differently, but I hope these last two blogs have given us a glimpse into how they may feel after the loss of a loved one.