My Mom Died - Questions Answered For Teens
In our life we may have many friends and family members, but usually only one mom. To lose your mother at any time is a difficult and sad time. She has known you all your life and hopefully was the one you turned to in times of need. A huge gap is created in your life, you miss the physical presence, the chats and smiles. You miss the talks about your school or working day and the gossip about your friends.
Here I will try and answer some of the questions you might have and give you some ideas about how you can get through this.
How should I be feeling? Is this normal?
There are lots of different feelings you might be having when your mom has died. You may not be able to stop crying or you may be numb with shock and unable to cry for several weeks. These are both normal reactions. Don’t try to stop the tears when they are close - they are a good way to get rid of a lot of tension and pent up emotions.
- You have a physical pain, a need to see her again and often think that you see her in a crowd.
- You still expect her to walk in the door.
- You might dream about her.
- You might find it difficult to eat, or you might be eating a lot of comfort food.
- You might be very angry.
- You might want to talk about her all the time, or you might not want to talk.
- You will have difficulty concentrating on work.
- You might lose confidence and feel anxious.
These are all normal reactions to this huge loss of your mom.
Why don't other people seem as upset as me?
You may think that a brother or sister is not as sad as you but we all grieve in different ways. Some are better at hiding inner turmoil. Your emotions are on roller coaster rides at this devastating time of your life. Try not to compare how you are feeling with other people. We are all different.
Read more about the Emotions of Grief here.
My mom died – why did it happen?
Asking “Why her? Why so young?” is pointless. Life spans vary so much and are not under our control. The years of quality time together are what is important. Whatever age she was someone will have lost their parent at a younger age. There are no reasons for how long all of us live. That is why it is important for us to make the most of every day of our lives.
The slings and arrows of life's misfortunes affect us all at some time in our lives. These traumas ultimately make us stronger and able to cope better in life.
I don’t know what to do? How am I going to get through this?
- Getting through each day at a time is the best method.
- Try not to spend too much time alone in your room.
- Get involved in funeral arrangements. You will be pleased that you made an effort to read a poem or sing your mom's favourite song, or say something about your mom in the service.
- Yes it is painful, but it is for the rest of the family as well. They also need support.
- Talk about your mom to the family. Talk about holidays you had. Reminisce, laugh and cry together.
- Keep up with all your friends and tell them how you feel. They will want to support you.
- Don’t be afraid of having a good time again. Your mother would have wanted that.
- Go back to your sport or hobbies as soon as possible and get your life into routine with work or college.
- If you cry in front of friends or family - so what? They will understand and boys cry too.
- Be supportive of your family. Remember they are all sad too.
- A good idea is to have your favourite photo of your mom by your bedside and tell her you miss her. Talk to her - it won’t bring her back but it is a comfort to you.
- Some find comfort in writing down how they feel in a letter to their mom or in diary form.
- Write a poem or a song or paint a picture of how you feel. Dance or sing or play some music. This page explains how these things can help.
- Make a scrapbook of your mom as a treasured keepsake.
Will things ever get easier?
Eventually coping without your mom gets easier. You will always miss her. You wish she was still with you but because of all her love you deserve to do well for yourself and especially for her.
Don’t feel that you have to think about her and your grief every minute of the day. You are allowed to laugh and enjoy things. You can’t be sad all the time, and your mom wouldn’t have wanted that.
Don’t worry about what other people think, they don’t know how you feel inside.
What if you argued with your mom? Or you said something you regret?
Try not to feel guilty. Everyone argues with their family members from
time to time. Your mom knew that you loved her, and even if the
relationship was not the best it could be, she was still your mom and
you will still feel sad. The important thing to remember is that IT WAS
NOT YOUR FAULT. These things happen and there is no reason and no-one
is to blame.
You might be angry that you have lost the chance to put things right or tell her things you wanted to say. A good way to do that, is to write her a letter, or write it down in your journal. Talk it over with a best friend or family member.
You will never forget or replace your mother but you get on with your life for her sake, remembering all the advice she gave you and all the love and happy memories. You are sad because you loved her and that is precious.
Walking along the pathways of grief is always painful. It is often full of happy memories which you cannot face thinking about at first. But you will get to a stage where you can look back with pleasure at the good times you shared with your mom. You are not alone. You are walking along these paths with your family too. You will cope because of the strength your mother gave you.
Books on Grief for Teenagers
Coping with Grief in Your Teens
Losing Your Mother
Teen Grief Forum
ARE YOU A BEREAVED MOTHER OR FATHER?
We are two bereaved parents who have teamed up with researchers at Yeshiva University and Memorial Sloan Kettering to study how the death of a child impacts parents’ lives, and the resulting ripple effects as life continues without our children. We invite you to participate in a survey which will help us develop resources to better support parents experiencing the heartbreak of child loss.
For mothers or fathers who have lost a child (or children) of any age, and would like to make a contribution to our understanding of bereaved parenthood, this is a way to make a difference.
If you would like to participate in our study, please fill out this confidential survey at https://yeshiva.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cUXcBDFIiWAg6Ng It will take about 20 minutes.
For more details, you can contact the Principal Investigator:
Kailey Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.
Thank you for your consideration --
Judith Kottick, LCSW and Jean Singer, PhD
IRB Approved at the Study Level, May 10, 2021. #30499052.0
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