There’s no two ways about it, the death of a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend, anyone you love, is hard. When you’ve never experienced death before it can be even harder. What do you say? How should you act? Who should you tell? Will you go to the funeral? What do you even do at a funeral? What happens afterwards? Will I always miss them? Does this ever get any easier?
The good news
Well believe it or not, there is good news. All your feelings and questions are completely normal and yes, it will get easier. It might not end, but it will get easier. Grief is a process and it’s not the same for everyone. Your grief is yours and there’s no right or wrong way for it to happen. There are no rules when it comes to grief, it’s just important that you let yourself experience it. Natalie Adams lost her dad at the start of high school. She started a website called Teenage Grief Sucks almost all of the content provided is written by teenagers themselves. So you can read stories written by kids your age about subjects such as school and social lives, you can even share your own grief story.
The bad news
You’re going to feel bad, really bad. Sad, angry, confused, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, you may not even be able to believe this is happening. You don’t want any of these feelings but you’ve got them, like it or not. This death thing sucks! But it’s part of life and you’re going to experience it more than once in your lifetime, may as well learn to deal with it now right? Here’s some tips on how to do that.
- Feel – Ignoring your feelings may be easier for now but it will cause more pain in the long run. If you don’t feel it now, you’ll have to feel it even more later. Allow yourself to feel and accept that the feelings are normal and won’t last forever.
- Talk – It might seem like nobody will understand and some people may not but talking about what you’re feeling helps you to process it better in your mind. A friend, relative, teacher, school counselor, anyone you can trust, if you don’t have anyone you can always call Youthline
- Ask for help – If you need more support from your friends and family than usual, ask them for it. If you feel as though you aren’t coping or your feelings are overwhelming you, let someone know. Chances are they will be expecting you to!
- Vent – Find a constructive way to vent your feelings. Cry, exercise, write, listen to music, laugh, read, draw, pray, anything that helps you to get that pent up energy out.
- Go to the funeral – Rituals such as funerals, allow you to honor and memorialize the person who has died. It may be hard, but going to the funeral will help you acknowledge your loss and begin to move forward.
You’ve probably never been to a funeral, you might have seen one on TV but that probably isn’t anything like a real funeral will be. Funerals are so important, they help you to really realise that the person has gone. They help you to remember that person and share or listen to memories of them. You will be in a supportive environment with others that are feeling the same way as you. Most importantly, you will be safe, nobody will be judging your actions or emotions and you won’t say or do the wrong thing. Funerals are for the living!
For more help and advice or to find someone to talk with go to What’s up?