Teens often experience the death of someone they are close to, be it a friend, classmate, or teammate. This can be a very hard event to process. If you're a teen and are dealing with the loss of someone you know, please know that you are not alone.
Death is very confusing, especially when it's a young person who has unexpectedly died in an accident, committed suicide, or suffered from a chronic illness. You will have questions. You will want to be strong. You will be scared that you, too, could die young.
What You May Feel When A Friend Has Died
- Know that it's okay to cry. It's normal to be angry, sad, bitter, confused and in denial. Those are the stages of grief.
- You may feel fearful for your own life. If your friend died in a car accident, it's normal to be afraid to drive for a while. If your friend had cancer, you may fear getting sick yourself.
- You may feel like you need to stay closer to your parents or your friend's parents. This will be comforting to your parents and the parents of your friend who died.
- You may be afraid to ask for help. Seeing a therapist or your family doctor is a good idea. It's nice to talk to a third-party who isn't directly involved in your day-to-day life. You can be open and honest without fear of being made fun of.
I'm Feeling Really Down And Can't Shake It
Sometimes grief gets to be too much for you to handle on your own. That's okay. There IS help.
If you are feeling depressed, start having a lot of anxiety, or think that drinking or drugs can take the edge off, you should ask for help. The same goes for not being able to sleep, using sex as a stress relief or you notice a big drop in your grades. Talk to your parents, a counselor at school, a therapist or your doctor.
Ways To Remember Your Friend
There are many ways to remember your friend.
- Continue going to the places where you used to go together.
- Keep a picture in your room or on your phone. It's not strange, it's remembering.
- Write in a journal or in notes on your phone or computer. Write down memories or things you'd like to tell him or her. Share things with them through writing.
- Get together with other friends and donate to his or her favorite charity or place a tree in a park or school in their memory.
- Remember to call his parents on his birthday. Letting them know you remember is more important than you will ever know.
Related Resource Pages on Band Back Together
On Death and Grief - Ways to help you cope with the loss of your friend.
Helping Teens Cope With Grief - Ways to know if you are coping or need to talk to someone.
How to Help a Grieving Teen - Ways to help your child grieve.
My Friend Died - A wonderful resource for information on what to expect and how to handle grief.
Solace Tree - Great resources for teens who are grieving the loss of friends with a special videos, stories and forums to help them process their emotions.