Ways Teens Can Help A Grieving Friend

Teens are often left to grieve alone following the death of someone close either because their grief goes unrecognized or because well meaning people simply don’t know what to say or do. As their friend, you can help support them by finding out ways to be there for them and how to listen. It is also important to recognize when your friend doesn’t want to talk about it or they don’t want to be treated any differently than before their person died.

1.    Before your friend returns to school, here are some things you can do:

  • Stay in touch by phone, text, email, Facebook and/or twitter.
  • Bring food to your friend’s home; have your class make condolence cards; hang out with your friend and let them talk if they want; offer to pick them up for school the first day back.
  • Support your friend by attending the funeral or memorial service. Make sure to let other close friends know about the service as well.  Just be there without having to be asked or told.

2.    When your friend returns to school you can:

  • Greet your friend with kindness and warmth. Treat them as you would before their parent died.
  • Invite them to eat lunch, walk between classes or spend time at nutrition just hanging out.
  • Plan to get together outside of school to relax or do something fun.
  • Offer to do homework together to keep them on track.
  • Let them know that talking about their feelings is ok with you and if they don’t want to talk about it, that is ok also.
  • Remember that grief is unique for each person. There is no time limit to this process. Keep that in mind while supporting your friend.

© OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center

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