Adolescents may express their grief through exaggerated behaviors to disguise their fear and sense of helplessness.
- They may joke with friends at the viewing to mask their real feelings.
- Experimentation with drugs or alcohol may be their way of coping with loss.
- They may show lethargy or extreme activity.
- They may seek solace from other teens rather than from parents or teachers.
To assist your adolescent through the grief process:
A teen grief group may be helpful (some parishes sponsor such groups).
- Ask them if they would like to participate in the funeral preparation, but do not force them. They might like to help in preparing or delivering the eulogy; receiving guests or being a pallbearer.
- Provide time to be alone with the adolescent without others present.
- Take them with you to the cemetery without other siblings or friends.
- Provide them resources / books on adolescents and grief.