Moms with Teens

How do you help your child deal with
February 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Death.  Be it a family member, pet, friend, acquaintance?

My dd is 14 and had her first loss that she remembers 5 1/2 years ago with my uncle someone she had only met a couple of times.  Then my mom passed away 2 weeks later.  My mom's death was terribly hard on her.  That year we lost 5 family members total 2 on my side and 3 on dh side.  We did not go to any of dh families funerals although he went to his grandma's by himself due to school/work and distance.  We could not afford for all of us to go. 

Now anytime someone or a pet dies she has a total meltdown. I had a friend, whos sister passed away 2 weeks ago and my dd only met her a couple of times and she cried and cried.  An older lady from church passed away Thursday, her funeral is Monday, and dd was so upset she couldn't go to school.  I have another friend whos mom is like a grandma to my kids, she isnt doing very well either.

It took her years to get over my mom's death, she still has her moments where she boohoo's.  I am almost to the point where I don't want to tell her when someone dies and hope that we can keep her occupied at a friends house while we go to the funerals.  Is she just overly sensitive or what???  She is not the type of kid who cries just to cry or do things just to get attention. Any suggestions?


  • GleekingOut
    February 17, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Has she recieved counselling for any of these deaths? and for the record - I would be super super pissed off if my mom decided to hide a death from me and not tell me there was a funeral. I think that would hurt her more.

  • Jebekarue
    February 17, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    No counseling as of yet.  After that first year with the 5 we hadn't had anymore until last year in September, my Aunt passed away, then her rabbit died, and now these 2 in the last 2 weeks. 

    I don't think I would ever NOT tell her.  When my dad was really sick a few years ago we thought we were going to lose him, and since mom died dd and my dad are closer than ever.  He is 77 and doing well now but its always in the back of my head that he could go at anytime and I honestly don't know how she will be able to handle it. 

    It just breaks my heart that she takes it so hard.  I think I will talk to our pastor tomorrow after church and see if he can offer some words of advice to her or to me on how to help her deal with it. 

    Quoting GleekingOut:

    Has she recieved counselling for any of these deaths? and for the record - I would be super super pissed off if my mom decided to hide a death from me and not tell me there was a funeral. I think that would hurt her more.

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    February 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM
    She needs counseling. My girls moved on after grandparents deaths fine. I did too. I always knew from a young age, went to first funeral at age 5, that the circle of life included death.
  • emma1960
    February 17, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    We cared for my mother in 2010 and she died in my home with my daughters in the room. They were very close to their mamaw. They helped take care of her and it was very hard on them to see her die. I did not make them do any thing that made them uncomfortable. They wanted to be with her. It was a great life experience. My oldest daughter is a very emotional girl and she still can cry over the loss, but it has made her stronger too. Death is one thing that we all have to face some time in our lives. My daughter did talk several times with a hospice counselor to help her with her grief. I also read about teen support groups for kids that have experienced death of a loved one. That may be an option.

    I think your daughter is just expressing her emotions. I feel that is the healthiest thing for her. Sometimes we feel we have to be so strong but crying helps to release those emotions. I guess if my daughter just sat around and cried all the time I would be very worried but she isn't. She still has sad days, but who doesn't.

    I hope this helped.


  • DarlaHood
    February 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    I agree that she needs some grief counseling.  I understand that it was over 5 years ago, and I also understand that there were losses of relatives that she wasn't particularly close to.  However, losing her grandmother, and then experiencing so many losses so quickly after that could easily have made a big impression in a child's mind.  It's not just about the people, it is also about the vulnerability that comes with loss.  Each time there is another death, it reminds her of the fragility of life and her own vulnerability in experiencing the loss.  It's quite possible that she also has unresolved feelings that she did not understand, could not articulate, and was unable to deal with at the time.  These feelings can come up and overwhelm her as she processes new loss.  It is probably more about what is inside her than it is about the relationship with the person.  And to top it off, she's at an age where girls are typically more emotional (and occasionally irrationally so) about all kinds of things.  Her hormones are all over the place, and that just complicates things. 

    These days, most pastors don't do extensive counseling - and they are not trained to do it.  Seeing a Licensed therapist who specializes in working with children and adolescents or who specializes in grief and loss would be ideal.  No offense at all to the competency of your pastor, but therapists go through years of school specifically for this, and have even more training if they specialize.  An adolescent grief and loss support group might also be helpful. She might also relate with a female therapist since she is also dealing with female adolescent experiences. 

    Everyone experiences death and grief differently, and emotions and tears are not necessarily bad, but it is important to know that your dd is in an emotionally helathy palce. 

  • Barabell
    February 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I agree that she needs some kind of counseling at this point. It seems like she is having a hard time completing the grief process. It's almost like she's stuck in it and doesn't know how to move on to the acceptance stage.

  • tyfry7496
    February 17, 2013 at 11:46 AM
    I agree with this. Talking about and remembering the person helps. My son had a very hard time when my grandma died but with support from me, my parents, his friends and school he made it through. Keeping him informed and not lying to him really helped.

    Quoting GleekingOut:

    Has she recieved counselling for any of these deaths? and for the record - I would be super super pissed off if my mom decided to hide a death from me and not tell me there was a funeral. I think that would hurt her more.

  • luckysevenwow
    February 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Death is so final, and she probably struggles with that concept. A little outside counseling wouldn't hurt for her.

  • gonecrazi
    February 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

     I would take her to a therapist,someone that could help her learn how to handle grief.

  • tntmomof2
    February 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    My kids have never lost anyone close to them so we haven't had to deal with this yet. 

    I wish your dd the best. That's a lot of death for a young girl. 

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