Teen’s Natural Grief Response

These are all NATURAL and NORMAL grief responses. Talking and crying are important parts of the healing process. If these symptoms persist, or increase in frequency, severity or duration, a physician or counselor should be consulted. If you are a friend or family member of a child who is grieving… listen when they need to talk… offer support when they need to cry.

Typical Reactions to the Death:

  • Trouble with falling asleep, staying asleep, or an increase in sleeping
  • Change in eating habits (eating more, eating less, or eating more junk/comfort foods)
  • Decreased energy or increase in feeling tired/fatigued
  • Crying often or unable to cry
  • Decreased interest in (or withdrawing from) friends, family, sports, normal activities
  • Difficulty concentrating, losing focus, or forgetting things
  • Health problems such as stomachaches, headaches, or increased clumsiness
  • Impulsive behaviors, reckless driving, or other self-destructive behaviors
  • Problem with parents, teachers, or other authority figures
  • Dreams about the person who died, or an increase in nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts, remembering images about the death or memories of the person
  • Drop in grades or increase in academic problems
  • Desire to end the pain, sometimes through drugs, alcohol or suicidal thoughts

 

Teens Suggest These Ways to Cope with Grief Feelings:

  • Talk with someone you trust
  • Exercise, play sports
  • Listen to favorite music or music that reminds you of the person who died
  • Find a way to have some fun, laugh, see a funny movie, TV show or video game
  • Make a list of your strengths, things you like about yourself
  • Practice deep breathing: Count to 10 when you feel stressed, angry and/or overwhelmed
  • Volunteer (i.e., animal shelter, hospital, school, etc.)
  • Take a walk at the beach or somewhere in nature
  • Wash your face with cool water
  • Scream into a pillow or into a backpack
  • Paint or draw a picture
  • Journal, write a poem or letter
  • Call Teen Line Number (800/TLC-TEEN) or crisis intervention line 800/999-9999
  • Call OUR HOUSE for grief support.

© OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center

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