Teens Coping With Death

A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist

When a beloved family member dies, it can feel like the world is so unfair, and that you will never smile again. Saying goodbye to someone you love, and who has loved you, is a bittersweet process.  – Sandra

“My grandmother just died, and l loved her so much. I used to be the guy people always said smiled too much, but now that she’s gone I just feel bitter and cold.”

The sadness that you feel is for the loss of someone who has brought delight to your life. The thought of not seeing or speaking with her again just plain hurts. It’s very normal to feel bitter, even angry, and those feelings can continue for some time… There is now an empty place that she filled in your life, which may leave you feeling less than enthused about other things you are involved in. You may also find that your feelings come in waves. Sometimes, it may feel like you are drowning in them. Other times they may recede and just leave you feeling empty.

It is important to rest during this time and take good care of yourself. Be sure to eat regular meals. Confide in someone you trust. This could be a good time to start a journal, if you don’t already have one. Feelings carry information for us. Even the darker feelings. So it is important to not run from your feelings, but to observe them, and learn from them. Your feelings about your grandmother’s death may be telling you about how much she meant to you.

You have just learned a very hard lesson about life, which is that nothing lasts forever. Humans, and all things, have a limited life span. This isn’t something to be afraid of, but it can be very hard to digest. This is why it is so important to be grateful for the people we love, and tell them so. Give yourself permission to grieve. It does not mean that you will never smile again.

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