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    Articles (62)
    • Feeling Lonely? Me Too.

      Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? That's what I'm feeling because I'm the only friend grieving a parent. As a kid, I thought that loneliness was something you felt during weekends you spent alone. When all of your friends were busy, and it was just you waiting for school on Monday, only talking to the people you live with. By that definition, I’m not lonely. Even though I’m physically isolated, I’m not socially isolated. I wrote the first draft of this article after getting off of a call with one of my closest friends, and I’m casually texting someone as I work on this rewrite. So… why do I feel lonely? The concept of feeling alone in a room full of people was foreign to me as a kid. How someone could be lonely while they were with other people made no sense to me. The first time I felt lonely while surrounded by people was around middle school. I was starting to have struggles that the average kid didn’t go through, and many of my friends couldn’t relate to me. As time passed, I found people who understood, though, and it was mostly okay. Interestingly enough, I didn’t feel lonely when my dad was sick. I think it was because, in my head, I told myself that he wasn’t that sick, and he would be okay. Upon Dad dying, though, the loneliness I felt was 10x what I had experienced in the past. I never missed a full day of school after he died, choosing to go back to school right away. I’d sleep in most mornings, and then attend a few classes in the afternoon. My classmates and teachers were amazing at that time. So many people stepped up and were there for me, including many that I had never expected to care that much. Even though I was supported by my peers, their lives hadn’t been changed forever - only mine had been. They still were worried about “normal” teenage things: who had a crush on who, who failed a test, and if the football team would win the game (spoiler: they never did). I, meanwhile, was stuck. When I came to school every day, these “normal” teenager things weren’t even on my mind. I no longer cared who had a crush on who, who failed a test, and if the football team would win the game. My life as I had known it was crashing down in front of me, and I was spending all of my time trying to figure out how to piece it back together. Since then, I’ve felt this loneliness on and off, usually corresponding with how much I’m struggling with grief. When I feel okay, I often don’t feel lonely, but when I’m struggling, it’s like I’m the only one in a full room. Recently, I’ve been feeling sort of lonely. Unlike at the beginning of my grief, this loneliness isn’t due to having my life fall apart while everyone else’s is okay. Yes, grief still is hard, but I’m feeling fine right now. The loneliness I’m experiencing now is due to being the only one of my friends who has lost a parent. I know about two or three people my age who have lost a parent, but I’m not friends with any of them. While a few of my friends have felt grief, theirs has been different than mine, and none of them have lost a parent. It’s really lonely, being the only one who has a dead parent. While I can talk to my friends about most of the things I feel, I always wish I had someone who was actually going through it too, and not just nodding along to whatever I said. While I don’t have a perfect solution to this, lately I’ve found myself reading a lot of articles online written by people who have lost a parent. It’s actually been really comforting, even though I’ve never met any of the people whose stories I read. If you’re struggling with loneliness, I recommend you look online for stories written by people who have lost someone similar. Personally, I enjoy reading The Grief Reality, which is written by two sisters who lost their mom two years ago, but also has stories written by people who have experienced other types of loss. Until I meet someone who has also lost a parent, I’ll be spending a lot of my “lonely time” reading stories online. How about you? How do you deal with loneliness? Tweet me @teengriefsucks and let me know. Read Next: "Guilt: When You Blame Yourself" Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks.

    • Guilt: When You Blame Yourself.

      This is all my fault. Or… is it? Guilt. It’s something we’ve all experienced, whether we’ve lost someone or not. Something like saying an unnecessarily rude comment, disappointing someone you care about, or ignoring a text may seem harmless at first, but leave you feeling horrible after. While it is difficult at the time, guilt that’s not related to a loss usually ends after a few days. This ending typically comes after you try to fix the situation, apologize to the person, or simply just move forward with your life. A month later, you usually don’t even remember why you felt guilty in the first place. It’s not like that with loss-related guilt. The same things can cause it: Saying a rude comment, disappointing someone you care about, or ignoring a text. Except, unlike the other kind of guilt, this type stays. You can’t fix the situation. You can’t forget about it. Finally, and most of all, you can’t apologize to the person, because they’re gone. Guilt started flooding my brain after my dad died. In the first few months after he left, the same thought passed through my mind daily: You could’ve prevented this. Instead of saying, I’m in high school, Dad was sick for months, and there was nothing I could’ve done, I believed it. I thought that I could have prevented his death, and that it was my fault. Before Dad died, he had been sick for months. I never thought of him as sick, though. In my head, it was like he had a cold that just never went away, even though what he had was so much worse than a cold. Despite the fact that he’d been sick, his passing was still sudden. He died on the day he was supposed to get out of the hospital, just when things were getting better. To cope with the shock of it all, I kept on trying to find an explanation. The reason why he had gone. There has to be a reason, right? How could he die if there was no reason? I tried to piece together why everything had happened the way it did, and tried desperately to find the event that had caused him to leave, if that even existed. Instead of finding my answer, I found something else: guilt. Just days after his death, little thoughts began shoving their way into my mind, and refused to leave: He called me last week, and I didn’t answer. If I answered, he might be alive right now. This was the main one. I barely saw him. I chose school and friends over Dad - my own father. How could I? If I had seen him more, he would still be alive. This hurt a lot. I texted Dad the day he died, and didn’t say “I love you” at the end. He will never know that I loved him, and if I had said it, he wouldn’t have died. To this day, I have no idea if he read that text. I never asked anyone, and I don’t want to know. I hope he didn’t. It sounds wild, right? That I seriously believed all of those things? To you, it’s probably obvious that one missed call didn’t kill him. Seeing him rarely before he died didn’t mean that he thought I didn’t care. Not saying “I love you” didn’t make him think I didn’t love him. That’s the thing, though. It wasn’t obvious to me. Rationally, I knew that what I was believing was slightly ridiculous. I mean, one forgotten “I love you” doesn’t cause someone’s death. Not rationally, though… I thought it was all my fault. That my thoughts were true, and I could’ve prevented Dad’s death if I had called him back, seen him more, and said “I love you” at the end of that text. In general, I’m usually able to tell when I’m thinking rationally and not rationally. Whenever I start overwhelming myself, I can say, No, you’re overthinking this. Your mind is tricking you. I was unable to do that with guilt. Instead of realizing instantly that there was no way I caused my dad’s death, and that even if I had answered that call, seen him more, and said “I love you,” he would still be gone today, I started believing the part of my mind that said it was all my fault. That’s the way guilt works. Rational thinking is thrown out, and in pops conspiracy theories. Even though part of you knows that what you’re thinking isn’t true, you still believe it. One of the best ways I’ve found to explain guilt is by using an Emma Chamberlain video. Emma did a video in 2018 called “YOUTUBER CONSPIRACY THEORIES.” Instead of doing realistic conspiracy theories, though, she came up with a bunch of wild ones that are obviously far from the truth. The first time watching the video, I was pretty sure that she wasn’t being serious, but I wasn’t completely convinced. I remember thinking, wow, there’s no way she actually believes this, but then thinking right after that, well… she might…? That’s how guilt is. Logically, like how I knew Emma’s video wasn’t serious, I knew that I had no reason to feel guilty, but there was still a little part of me that thought it might be true, and with guilt, that little part was what took charge of my mind. When I started blaming myself for Dad’s death, I felt like I didn’t deserve to miss him. You can’t be upset. It’s your fault you feel this way. If you had seen him more, he wouldn’t have died. It was horrible. Coping with a death while feeling like you’re directly responsible for it is absolutely terrible. I started imagining situations in my head where things had happened differently. Where I had called him back, seen him more, and texted “I love you” that last time. I imagined that he didn’t die, that things ended up being okay, and that he was alive right now. As my guilt got worse, I started feeling anger. I had learned early on that anger towards your loved one is normal, but this anger wasn’t directed at my dad: It was directed at me. I was furious at myself. I mean, Dad had been sick for months and I still hadn’t realized that he might not be okay? Like I mentioned before, it hadn’t been obvious that he would die, but looking back, there was a chance all along that he would. I just didn’t see it. Part of me feels like, if I had known, things would be better. I could’ve seen him more and had the chance to say goodbye. If I had known, I never would’ve missed his call, I would’ve seen him all the time, and I would’ve said “I love you” at the end of that text. I carried this guilt and anger with me for a long time without telling anyone. Whenever I got close to talking about it I would stop myself. The only thing that scared me as much as thinking that I could’ve stopped Dad’s death was having others agree with me, and think that it was my fault. I have to be honest - I still struggle with this guilt sometimes. There are still nights I lay and bed and think, What would’ve happened if I did answer the phone that day? Would he still be alive now? Unlike in the past, though, I’m usually able to remind myself that no, it’s not my fault, and I can’t blame myself. Guilt became a lot easier to cope with when I started talking about it with people. Even though the rational side of me knew all along that Dad’s death was not my fault, hearing someone else tell me that it wasn’t helped a lot. Time helped as well. Like I said before, I think I was trying to find an explanation for Dad’s death at first. Trying to find something that I could hold onto and say, that moment, that was where things went wrong. In reality, it was months before, when he first got sick, where things went wrong. I just didn’t realize it at the time. Him getting sick was not my fault to begin with, and it was not my fault that he died. As time has passed, I’ve been able to understand this better, and know that I shouldn’t blame myself. If you’re feeling guilty, please know this: None of this is your fault. Really, none of it. Also, it doesn’t matter what you may have said or done - your loved one still knew that you cared about them. Guilt has been one of the hardest parts of grief for me, and because of that, it’s something that I’ve avoided talking about. Especially because I still have such a hard time with it. I still have moments where I blame myself. Whenever I start feeling that way, though, I remind myself that I didn’t cause any of this, Dad knew that I cared even though I was busy, and he knew I loved him. Something I’m still working on is forgiving myself.  I was just starting high school when Dad died. The concept of death and grief was foreign to me, so I shouldn’t be mad at myself for not realizing that he might die. Even if I had known that something might happen to him, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that things would be better now. I’d probably still feel guilt, just caused by different things. It’s been difficult, but I’m working through it. Even though I haven’t really gotten “over” my guilt, if you’re having a hard time, I can tell you this with confidence: It gets better. Even though I still struggle sometimes, it’s a lot easier to deal with now than it was at first. I’m usually able to talk myself down and convince myself that it’s not my fault, which is something I couldn’t even imagine myself doing when I first felt guilty. As always, if you’re struggling with guilt (or just grief in general), seeking professional help can be useful as well. If you’re not sure where to start, you can always talk to your school guidance counselor or any other trusted adult you know. None of this is your fault. Read Next: When a Public Figure Dies Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks.

    • When a Public Figure Dies

      I didn't know that I could grieve a celebrity's death... until I did. The first death of a public figure that I remember being strongly impacted by was Avicii’s in 2018. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Avicii was an immensely popular DJ who made some of the best songs I’ve ever heard. I found out about his death after school one day. I remember that moment vividly: The bell rang, I got my things from my locker, I walked to the cafeteria, checked the news, and felt my heart stop. I started sobbing, rushing over to a table to sit down at, and quickly texted two of my friends. It was a horrible day. I felt this undefinable sadness for the next few days, but I refused to call it grief. It didn’t make sense to me at the time: I had never met Avicii, so how could I grieve him? That’s a question I’ve asked myself after many celebrity deaths since. How could I grieve someone who wasn’t actually a part of my life? That’s the thing, though. Avicii was a part of my life, even though I never met him. Avicii’s music is tangled up in memories of my childhood. When my mom and I would drive in the car together, I’d turn on Avicii’s songs from her iPod. For years, I would listen to “I Could Be The One” (w/ Nicky Romero) and spent countless hours trying to figure out where Avicii sang, and if he didn’t sing, why his name was on the song. (I actually found a place where I thought he was singing in that song. Spoiler alert: He didn’t sing in it. He was a DJ.) His music got me through so many hard times, and so many good times. I spent all elementary school listening to it and still do to this day. It was like I lost all of that when Avicii died. He was a part of all of those memories, and a part of my life, even though he was never physically with me. I realized that I grieved him about a year ago. I was sitting in the car, listening to one of his songs, and remember thinking: Wait, how I felt after he died… that was grief. How did I not realize this sooner? It’s okay - and completely normal - to feel grief after a public figure dies. Even though you may never have met them, they were a part of your life - whether it was through music, TV shows, writing, or anything else - so it makes sense that you may feel grief after they pass away. Coping with grief from a public figure’s death is similar to when you lose someone you knew personally. The biggest thing you should do? Feel your feelings. You may be feeling grief right now - that’s okay. You may feel sad, angry, or even happy. Acknowledge these feelings, and don’t try to push them down. It’ll make things a lot easier later on. Another thing that helps is talking about what you’re going through. With Avicii, I had two friends who also loved his music, and we created a group chat to talk about how we felt when we found out about his death. If you know people who also enjoyed this public figure’s contributions, talk to them about that person. Enjoy their talent together, such as performances or music. Even if you don’t know people who also knew this person, ask your friends if you can talk about them and if you can introduce your friends to this person’s work. You can also reach out and get professional help if you're having a hard time. If you feel comfortable, talk to your school guidance counselor, or talk to your parent/guardian about seeing a counselor. The most important thing to remember is that it is okay and normal if you’re struggling with the death of a public figure. Take a step back, and let yourself grieve. You don't have to be okay. Read Next: The 5 Grief Resources I Use Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Martin Jernberg.

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    • Teenage Grief Sucks | Talking about teen grief.

      Feeling Lonely ? Me Too. R E A D we're talking about teenage grief. read stories written by grieving teens and share your own. share your story SHARE YOUR GRIEF read articles A R T I C L E S start here S T A R T article topics . advice (44) stories (44) side effects (38) parent loss (14) other (12) school (11) coping methods (8) changes (7) coronavirus (7) mental health (6) misconceptions (6) secondary losses (6) alone (4) guilt (4) current events (3) depression (3) friends (3) help a friend (3) holidays (3) other loss (3) resources (3) regret (2) anger (1) anxiety (1) awareness (1) Black Lives Matter (1) dreams (1) loneliness (1) music (1) podcast (1) stigma (1) you are not alone (1)

    • Resources | Teenage Grief Sucks

      teen resources . resources for teenage grief and mental health. need urgent support ? THERE IS SO MUCH HOPE. CLICK HERE FOR RESOURCES. more resources coming soon.

    • Urgent Support Resources | Teenage Grief Sucks

      need urgent support ? Crisis Text Line Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via a medium people already use and trust: text. ​ Text (U.S. & Canada): HOME to 741741 Text (U.K.): HOME to 85258 Text (Ireland): HOME to 50808 What to expect when you text: click here ​ Text HOME to a number above, depending where you live, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment. Check out crisistextline.org for more information. Boys Town Hotline (Your Life Your Voice) A national crisis line for kids, teens, young adults and parents. ​ Call (U.S.): 1-800-448-3000 Text (U.S.): VOICE to 20121 ​ The Boys Town National Hotline counselors specialize in talking to kids, teens, and young adults. Their counselors are ready to support you through difficult feelings, and times of stress. If you need someone to talk to, reach out for help. Check out www.yourlifeyourvoice.org for more information. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. ​ Call (U.S.): 1-800-273-8255 En Español (U.S.): 1-888-628-9454 What to expect when you call: click here ​ The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 170 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices. Check out suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information. The Trevor Project Saving young LGBTQ+ lives. ​ Call: 1-866-488-7386 Text: START to 678-678 For other resources, click her e ​ The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Check out thetrevorproject.org for more information. Trans Lifeline Peer support services, hotline, and resources for Transgender People. ​ Call (U.S.): 877-565-8860 Call (Canada): 877-330-6366 What to expect when you call: click here ​ Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. Their operators are located all over the U.S. and Canada, and are all trans-identified. If you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, even if it’s just about whether or not you’re trans, please call them. They will do our best to support you and provide you resources. Check out translifeline.org for more information. suggest a resource S U G G E S T

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not meant to be taken as medical information, as it is written by teenagers. If you are in need of medical help, seek assistance from a licensed therapist or, if it is urgent, contact emergency services in your area.