Owego, NY funeral homes

How to Support Teens as They Grieve

Before and after funerals at Owego, NY funeral homes, teens who have experienced loss, whether it’s the death of a friend or the death of a loved one, will need a lot of support as they move through the grieving process. In part, this is because adolescence is full of hormonal fluctuations, the competing crossroads of being dependent and independent, and the juxtaposition between knowledge and experience.

It is more unlikely that teens will openly express their grief, unlike small children who, while not being able to always verbalize their feelings, will certainly act them out in quite open ways. Teens can typically be more moody than not just because of their stage of life, so it may be difficult to tell what the source of their moodiness is on any given day.

However, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, and clergy (if applicable), we as the adults in their lives need to be in touch, observant, and actively supportive of our teens as they maneuver through grief.

Loss and grief in teens creates a gulf between them and their peers at a time in their lives where fitting in is paramount. Therefore, teens need a comprehensive network of support to help them bridge that gulf and to keep them grounded and growing (as well as protected from bullying, which is common throughout life by some people who look for what they perceive as weakness in others and then harass, harangue, and torment them either verbally or physically or both) toward adulthood.

One way to provide support for teens as they grieve is to get outside therapeutic help. If the adults in the teens’ immediate families are having difficulty handling their own grief, this may create more anxiety and a misplaced sense of responsibility in grieving teens, which can overwhelm them with stress. Seeking grief counseling for everyone is highly recommended.

All the adults in the lives of teens who are grieving need to pull together and work together to offer support networks. Grieving teens need to know who is there for them, since they may not want to talk with their parents, but they may have aunts, uncles, coaches, or teachers that they feel more comfortable talking to about what they’re experiencing.

An important aspect of supporting grieving teens is simply listening when they do want to talk. There may be intense anger or sobbing sorrow as they talk, but the words they say are what we should focus on because they will tell us what the real issues are that teens are dealing with in relationship to the death of a friend or a loved one. Don’t interrupt. Take notes about important areas they touch on, because they’re still children in many ways and they will often make, because they don’t know any different, wrong assumptions and wrong connections about death and loss. We have an opportunity to address those things and correct what they don’t know or understand, which can actually lead to greater peace and faster healing for them.

To get more information about grief resources for teens at Owego, NY funeral homes, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.