Teen Grief signs
The stages in the five-stage model are:
1. Denial: “This must be a mistake.” “He’ll be back home any second.”
2. Anger: “I hate her!” “How could he do this to me?”
3. Bargaining: “If I’d stayed home, this wouldn’t have happened.” “If I’d just caught it sooner…”
4. Depression: “There’s no point in living, anymore.” “Where do I even go from here?”
5. Acceptance: “We had many happy moments together.” “This was really the best decision.”
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Overcome with grief
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Be patient and available, let them open up when they are ready. Everyone copes in different ways and it’s important that both you and they know that that is okay. It’s also important to make sure that they know that it’s okay to experience happiness while grieving, too. A lot of young people feel guilty for this, especially after the loss of a loved one, so let them know that it does not mean they did not love their lost loved one.
As they go through their grieving process, try to maintain normalcy. Continue your everyday routine as much as possible, allow them to go and spend time with friends and family, and stuff like that. As you do, though, it would be a good idea to check with adults in their lives to be sure they’re okay. At times like these, the risk for self-destructive behavior goes up, so you need to know when it is time to step in and intervene.
As teens deal with grief, they are developing coping skills that will help them later in life. Guide them but don’t be overbearing. Eventually, they will come out stronger for having experienced this.