There are many loops in grief. We refer to them as "loops" instead of "stages" because they truely can be cyclical. You can experience shock, denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, sadness, depression and acceptance. There is no specific timeframe involved and everyone will experience grief in their own way. Some may be sullen, some laugh, some cry, some feel numb. You may move through the loops in days, weeks or even years. All are ok. All are normal. If you feel though that you or someone you know who is grieving is "stuck" in a particular loop, you may want to contact a counseling support as outlined below.
Teenagers understand the finality of death. There is no magic in the person "coming back". Teens, just like adults, may have many questions surrounding death. Questions that may have no immediate answers. Be patient. Be honest. Listen and know when it is time to seek additional support.
Our middle school library has a wonderful book filled with practical ideas for understanding and expressing grief. It is titled "Healing Your Grieving Heart- For Teens" by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. It is just one of many resources that our library has.
If your teen needs a support group, you may want to contact any of the following: Newtown Youth Services at 270-4335 or 426-8103, Healing Hearts in Danbury at 792-4422, The Cove at 800-750-COVE. (Healing Hearts and The Cove are both grief support group centers.) If you need cancer support goups, you may wish to contact Ann's Place at 790-6568.
Your middle school counselors are here every day to support you and your teen. So if you have any questions or need guidance of any kind, please do not hesitate to call us. 426-7644