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 with resources and books on adolescents and grief.
- A teen grief group may be helpful (some parishes sponsor such groups).