It’s a completely beautiful spring day: the sun is shining, birds are singing, the crocuses that I planted last fall are blooming in my yard. It’s hard not to let these things brighten your day. But life is always weird, and it is quite possible to feel somewhat cheered and also bereaved at the same time, when you lose a friend or family member.
The word bereave has a rather curious origin. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is from the Old English (400-1100 C.E.), meaning to “deprive, rob, strip, or dispossess.” I find it interesting that we use the word today to refer to the loss of a loved one. It might be because we feel as if we’ve been robbed of love in our lives, when someone dies.
So, I’m thinking about grief and coping today. It can be especially difficult to be a young person in mourning. Teens have more difficulty expressing emotions, and often react quite differently than adults. But you do have a right to grieve in whatever way is best for you. I thought I might share some resources for others who may, even in this glorious and long-awaited spring, need some time for bereavement.
Gootman, Marilyn E.
This short but sweet book addresses questions you may have during the process, such as “Why can’t I feel anything,” and “What is normal?”
Hughes, Lynne B.
In this book, teens write openly and candidly about their experiences with the death of a parent.
This non-fiction memoir is the recounting of Erin’s adolescence. She lost both her parents in a car accident at 14. The story follows Erin and her siblings and they pick up the pieces and grow up together.
Welch, Diana & Liz
In another non-fiction memoir, four siblings cope with the death of their parents. They lost their father in a car accident, and their mother 3 years later to cancer.
Wolfelt offers specific and practical advice for teens in mourning.
In addition to these books, you can find comprehensive resources about loss on the National Institute of Health’s Bereavement page. This page has overviews, medical research, related issues such as coping during holidays after the loss of a loved one, and information on grieving for children, teens, and seniors.
As always, if you need more information on bereavement or any other topic, the library is here to help you find it.