It is sad to know that each year thousands of teenagers experience the death of someone they love; a parent, sibling, friend or other relative. Statistics show that around one in ten 11-18-year olds experience the loss of a loved one. This is likely to have an impact on the rest of their life. Although bereavement is a difficult and sensitive topic, I’m going to talk about some of the things that personally helped me to cope better after I lost my Dad in 2012.
The most important thing is not to ‘bottle things up’. I did this to start with. I didn’t tell anyone how I really felt when I should have spoken about it. No one should be ashamed to feel upset after losing someone they love, as it is a traumatic time. It is important to talk about how you feel to people you trust so they can support you. I ‘opened up’ to very few people, but it was nice to know that I had people there who I could turn to if I was having a bad day, or feeling sad. I spoke to my friends and some of my teachers and they were very supportive.
Another thing that I found to be helpful after losing my Dad was to make a memory box. This is a box where I put stuff in that reminded me of my Dad, and the memories I shared with him. I put in photographs from holidays and stuff that he’d bought me over the years. I also wrote poems and put them in as well. I still have the box now, and it makes me smile. I also buy a birthday card, a father’s day card and a Christmas card for him every year. I find it comforting. I keep the memory box private.
Finally, it is important to take time to grieve properly. I found it easier to take things one day at a time, and to try not to worry about the future. I decided to focus on my studies and the things I enjoyed doing. I get upset from time to time but I’ve learnt that it’s okay to cry.
Everyone will have their own ways of coping after losing someone close to them. This outlines what I personally found helpful. Everyone should remember that they are not alone.
Who do you talk to when you are upset or sad about something?