Adolescents and Grief

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:

  • 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.
A teen grief group may be helpful (some parishes sponsor such groups).