teengrief - Hospice of the Valley

teengrief - Hospice of the Valley (PDF)

2022 • 48 Pages • 4.18 MB • English
Posted July 01, 2022 • Submitted by Superman

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Summary of teengrief - Hospice of the Valley

teen grief coping with the loss of a loved one Second Edition © 2012 Hospice of the Valley All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this booklet may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission. Address requests for additional copies to: Hospice of the Valley • 1510 E. Flower St. • Phoenix, AZ 85014 • 602.530.6900 • hov.org This booklet and accompanying videos have been developed to help you understand your grief and to let you know that you are not alone. Many teens are sharing the same journey, and help is available right now. hospice of the valley teen grief program Section 1 – Teen Grief What is grief? 5 Where can you find grief? 7 What does grief look like? 8 How does grief affect you? 11 How long does grief last? 15 Sudden vs expected death 17 Losing a sibling, parent, or friend 19 Teen vs adult grief 22 Teens grieve differently than adults 25 How adults can help teens 27 Section 2 – Getting through Grief How do you get through the first year? 29 How do you deal with grief? 31 How do you get through the holidays and significant events? 32 How do you get through the rest of your life? 35 What grief reminders can you expect along the way? 37 Section 3 – Getting through Secondary Losses: Since You’ve Been Gone What are secondary losses? 39 Where can you find secondary losses? 41 How do you deal with secondary losses? 42 Resources What help is available? 45 table of contents Using this resource This resource has been specifically created for teens and the adults who care about them It can be used one-on- one or in a group setting The booklet is divided into three sections Each section contains a short DVD featuring teens describing their personal experiences with grief Corresponding written information, suggestions, actions, and coping skills accompany each DVD Used together at a comfortable pace and timeframe, these DVD’s and print materials offer teens a big picture about grief and what to do with it teen grief 1 section one { } 4 5 What is grief? Grief is ƒ The pain we feel when someone we love dies ƒ A normal response to loss ƒ A natural part of the life cycle ƒ Very individual—everyone grieves differently; there is no right or wrong way to grieve ƒ An emotional roller coaster of highs and lows ƒ Often stressful ƒ A process that takes time We all grieve in different ways and at different rates; there is no set timetable for how long it will last Grief is not ƒ A disorder or disease ƒ Contagious ƒ A sign of weakness How long does grief last? Many factors influence grief How hard and how long you grieve depends on the following factors: ƒ Your personality ƒ Your relationship with the person who died ƒ How the person died—sudden or expected death ƒ The age of the person who died ƒ If you witnessed the death ƒ How you were told about the death ƒ Your past experience with loss and death ƒ Your culture ƒ Your belief systems ƒ What support is available to you ƒ Rumors about you or the cause of the death ƒ Your feelings of guilt and regret Remember that holidays and special events may continue to trigger your grief at different times in your life 6 7 Where can you find grief? Grief is everywhere. It is all around us because it is a normal and natural part of life It is how we respond to losses and move forward The two most universal experiences we share as human beings are birth and death 8 Grief takes on different shapes, attitudes and behaviors Teens experience grief in many different ways and not necessarily in the same order or at the same time Lack of interest or motivation You may adopt a “why bother” attitude Overachievement You may try to be your very best to make it easier for other family members to cope This can put even more pressure on you Guilt You may feel guilt because of something you have said or not said, thought, felt, or wished about the person who died You may even think that you could have prevented the death You may also feel guilty for wanting to feel normal again Drop in school grades Because you are having a hard time focusing, your grades may drop If they don’t go back up within a reasonable amount of time, ask a teacher or a friend for help No outward response At school, you may act like nothing has happened so you don’t call attention to yourself At home, you may try to act like nothing is bothering you so your family won’t be sad or worry about you Loneliness You can feel very isolated and different from your peers Anger You may lash out in anger because you feel you have lost control of your life It is normal to feel angry with the person who has died Overwhelming sadness This can feel like an incredible weight that prevents you from wanting to do anything What does grief look like? 9 Inability to relate with peers Relating to friends can become difficult because their problems may seem very small and fixable compared to your loss Withdrawal You may pull away from friends, drop out of clubs or sports, or cancel plans Sometimes it’s just easier to be alone Lack of focus You may find it difficult to pay attention because your mind can’t shut off what has happened So you become unfocused and unorganized Worry You may not be able to stop worrying about your loved ones because of the fear that you might lose them too Sexual activity You may engage in sexual activity so you can escape the pain and feel connected with someone Drug or alcohol use You may experiment with either or both as part of that “why bother” attitude to mask or stop the pain you feel Use of drugs or alcohol makes grief more difficult Unusual happenings You may experience seeing or hearing the loved one who has died, or have vivid dreams about him/her Some teens find this comforting since it feels like a connection with their loved one Others may find it uncomfortable It can help to talk or write about it Impatience You may become impatient or irritated with others—especially if someone complains about something trivial and fixable How does grief affect you? 10 11 Emotionally Some common emotions/feelings are: ƒ Shock ƒ Numbness ƒ Anger at the medical or legal system, at the person who died, or whoever/whatever was responsible for the death ƒ Guilt ƒ Fear that this will happen again ƒ Regret ƒ Sadness ƒ Loneliness ƒ Insecurity ƒ Relief ƒ Shame that may be felt because of the nature of the death—suicide, AIDS, anorexia or crime Mentally Mental effects may include: ƒ Inability to concentrate and stay focused ƒ Inability to make decisions Don’t make major decisions during this time, like joining the military, dropping out of college, or getting rid of something important Making big decisions may cause you to feel regret and create more adjustment for you This will make your grief even more difficult ƒ Confusion and forgetfulness ƒ Disorganization ƒ Dwelling on the death ƒ Desire to die You may feel you want to be with your loved one or be out of the pain you are experiencing Let someone know if you are even thinking along these lines ƒ Disbelief or denial that the person is really dead ƒ Glorifying the person who has died—sometimes we only remember the good qualities or times spent with that person You may not realize it, but grief affects you on every level more this way 12 13 Physically Physical symptoms of grief include: ƒ Crying ƒ Trouble sleeping ƒ Restlessness or hyperactivity ƒ Headache ƒ Stomachache or nausea ƒ Loss of appetite or increased appetite ƒ Weight loss or gain ƒ Lack of energy ƒ Pain around the heart (This is where the word “heartache” comes from ) Socially Socially, you may experience: ƒ Feeling left out ƒ Feeling different ƒ Withdrawal ƒ Changes in peer relationships—feeling you no longer have anything in common with your friends You may even feel angry with your peers because they just don’t understand, especially if they complain about their loved ones who are alive Spiritually Spiritual responses may reflect: ƒ A loss of faith ƒ Questioning faith—What do I believe? Where do people really go when they die? ƒ Anger at your faith system ƒ A strengthened faith ƒ A rediscovery of faith or interest in other belief systems, wanting to connect with a church or group to feel a sense of family ƒ Searching for the meaning of life What is the meaning of my life without my loved one? What will my contribution be to the world? How will I be remembered? ƒ An increased sense of connection with the loved one who died ƒ Questioning why bad things have to happen How long does grief last? 14 15 Gradually, you will learn to adjust to the loss of the person who died and learn to move forward with your life This not only takes time, but it also takes work Certain important moments and events in your life will trigger your grief: ƒ Holidays ƒ Anniversaries ƒ Birthdays ƒ Prom ƒ Graduation from high school and college ƒ Marriage ƒ First child It is very normal to revisit your grief and remember loved ones who have died During these moments, it is also natural to wonder: ƒ What would it be like if they were here? ƒ How might life be different today? ƒ Would I be the same person I am today? ƒ Can they see me now? ƒ Are they with me?