Coping with the death of a loved one can be hard, especially if you’re a teen. There are thoughts and feelings that are hard to explain to other people, even to your own family. One of the best ways to face these feelings is to find a support system that understands you, and allows you to grieve and grow at your own pace.
One teen, Samantha, shares a blog post she wrote after her father died. She talks about feeling that she wished she had been able to do something to save her dad, who was in the house with her when he died. Her words may sound familiar, since many of us have faced feelings of guilt and isolation after a loss.
Samantha also shares another blog post, written just a few months later. By this time, she had come to Comfort Zone Camp, a weekend camp for kids and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caretaker. She met other teens who had lost parents, and who also had some feeling they were struggling to come to terms with. Having found a place and a community that truly understood and supported her, Samantha also found some new ways to support herself.
Somedays (August 13, 2010)
Some Days I think about that night that I lost my dad, I think about all the “What ifs…”
What if my music was turned down lower…
What if he had called my name and I couldn’t hear him…
What if it I had come out of my room sooner and would have been able to get him help…
What if he was in pain…
What if it was because of me that he died, because I was cleaning in my room with my music so loud that I didn’t hear him calling for me…
These are the things that periodically pop up in my mind, and I try to keep them down, push them away when the thought begins but there are always going to be those What ifs…
Comfort Zone Camp (November 8, 2010)
This past weekend I attended Comfort Zone Camp for the first time. I was anxious about going and sharing my feelings with this new group of people. Once I go there though, I felt less anxious. I had this most AMAZING big buddy. We clicked right away (kudos to CZC peeps for matching me with her.)
This past weekend I was able to open up about a lot of things that I was holding in. A lot of my walls came down over these three days.
The Bonfire was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. The little kids and the older ones, it was special. Very heartwarming
Coming home I didn’t think that I would feel much different, but waking up this morning, I woke up as a new person. I felt as if a huge weight was off my shoulders. CZC provided me with some closure on my Father’s death. I learned ways to help me cope and different feelings that I didn’t before put words to.
This place made me a new person, I woke up happy, and relieved. Smiling all day that I have this new feeling that I haven’t seen since before my Dad died.
Thank you CZC for everything. When I’m older, I plan to come back to camps to be a Junior Counselor and eventually a Big Buddy.
At Comfort Zone Camp, I feel bonded to each and every person.
It’s funny how one thing can change the course of our grief, and help us to manage feelings of guilt and isolation. What are some things you’ve done to help you cope with your feelings after a loss? What are some ways you haven’t tried yet, but think could help? What advice would you give to someone who wasn’t sure how to ask for support in their grief?