Coping with Grief For Teenagers - Your Questions Answered

“Someone I know has died”.  Is this you?  Have you come here because of the death of a parent, a grandparent or a friend?  Perhaps you have lost a brother or a sister?  You might have lost a pet.  Whatever your loss, we will try and help you to cope with your grief here.  

Betty is now 75 years old, and she has been helping people cope with death and grief since she was 16 years old when she left home to become a nurse.  She has written some words to try and help you understand what you are going through.

Bougainvillea on a blue background.  A calming picture to help teenagers cope with grief

What Betty says about teen grief and loss: 

If you have come to this site because you have lost a loved one then I give you my deepest sympathy.  You may be looking for support but are finding it difficult to ask.  You may have had a close relative or pet who has died.

This may be your first experience of loss of a loved one and it is a painful experience for anyone. The shock, anxiety, tears, anger, all the spectrum of emotions will affect you. It is all part of the grieving process.

How you might feel:  

Within all our daily lives we can be happy, sad, angry, excited, - all of these are normal emotions.  These are much more noticeable during the grief process.  You will also be having heightened emotions as your body is going through the changes into adulthood. Hormonal changes can also cause tears and angry outbursts at any time. You are going through a difficult time in your life with the added burden of grief.

When we confront loss of a loved one for the first time in our lives, it can ruin our confidence.  It reminds us of our own mortality, it brings up all sorts of queries about life itself and the universe. 

You need to find someone you trust who you can talk to. It is important to release pent up worries and get support.  It may be a friend, relative, teacher or work mate.

Give yourself time in your busy life to grieve

Teenage years are busy with study, exams, sport, perhaps a part time job, a boyfriend or girlfriend. So much to do. So coping with grief on top of the demands of being a teenager is really too much.  Give yourself some time to yourself to cry over your loss.  Boys are allowed to cry too. A good cry can make you feel better. 

Then keep busy with your normal routines as much as possible.  It takes your mind off your grief for a while. 

What if my friends avoid me?

Don't be surprised if friends avoid you, as often they are embarrassed and don't know what to say to you.  They may never have experienced a close family member’s death or lost a good friend.  When you are ready, let them know you are OK and that you would like to see them again.  Don’t lose your friends over it, if they haven’t experienced it, they won’t know what to do. 

If people ask how you are, say "Fine" then you begin to believe it yourself.  Try to keep your problems for your close friend and support person or a trusted family member. Talk things over with them.

Treasure the happy memories

I have called my site a journey through the pathways of grief.  It is sometimes painful, but also full of happy memories of your loved one too.  You will get to the stage of accepting what has happened.  It will make you stronger to face other difficulties in life.  You will be able to understand and help friends when they are sad. 

Keep some photos of your loved one, and perhaps some little possession of theirs as a keepsake to remind you them.  You might want to do some writing or drawing to help you sort out your feelings about it.  Read about writing through your grief, or using art, theatre, or dance to express your feelings. 

Using dance to express feelings of grief

Read about how Jamie wrote his granddad's name in the sand, and then wrote a poem about it.

If you write a poem, we can make a page for you on this website as a memorial to your loved one.  You can enter it here:  Grief Poems

Make the most of your life!

One thing is true – none of us know how long our lifespan will be.  Enjoy today, seek out friends, see family.  Give yourself permission to be happy again for your loved ones sake.  They would not want you to be miserable.

There are other pages on coping with grief for teenagers on this site which you might find useful.

My Mom Died - How to Cope with the Loss of your Mother

How I Grieved my Little Sister by 17 Year Old Sonia

Books on Grief for Teenagers

Understanding the Emotions of Grief

What is Grief?

This is a sad time for you now, but most of us look back on the teenage years as some of the best. I hope yours will be too. Coping with grief is a learning process and it makes us stronger.  

Good Luck!

If you are a parent reading this page, you might find it useful to read our page on

Adolescent Grief - Helping your Teen Cope with Grief

> Coping with Grief for Teenagers


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Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the country and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.


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