Grief support for teens and their families

Cycles of Grief

Teens talking and being with one another during a grieving period

Grief is a natural and normal response to loss. Grief has been compared to a roller coaster ride because of its many ups and downs. It may help to know that others have traveled before you and have found their way back to safe ground. Here are some of the cycles of grief:

  • Shock, numbness and disbelief.
  • Avoidance and retreat.
  • Resistance, blame and anger.
  • Constant thoughts of the loss.
  • Jealousy aimed at those who have what you do not.
  • Anger.
  • Self-blame.
  • Confusion and feeling disoriented.
  • Physical disturbances including exhaustion and changes in appetite/sleep.
  • Nervousness.
  • Sadness.
  • Reorganizing life, gaining new insights, learning new skills.
  • Feeling at peace with the past.
  • Wanting to be alone and quiet.
  • Increased sense of inner strength and competency.
  • Increased compassion and ability to listen to others.
  • Reconnection, resiliency and hope for the future.


Here are some things that may help you along your grief journey:

  • Eat healthy foods and snacks.
  • Get enough rest and take naps… remember grief is hard work!
  • Don’t keep your feelings inside, find someone you trust to share them with.
  • Get some form of physical exercise daily.
  • Laugh often.
  • Keep a diary.
  • Talk to a trusted adult.
  • Spend time with friends and people who care about you.
  • Visit the cemetery if it makes you feel better.
  • Start and keep a “Book of Memories”.
  • Listen to music.
  • Remember that grief takes time, the questions and concerns you have now may take some time to get answered.
  • Do a good deed that would make your loved one proud of you.
  • Let yourself off the hook; it’s common to feel responsible for a loss, if you feel guilty, talk to a counselor about it.
  • Join a support group to be with other teens who have experienced a loss.

Self-Support System

Create a grief support system for yourself:

  • Think of 3 people you feel comfortable to talk to.
  • Name a place you can go that feels comfortable and safe.
  • Name 3 things you can do, or 3 people to be with, to let out anger without hurting yourself or others.
  • Name 3 things you can do, or 3 people you can be with, to let out sad feelings.
  • Name 3 non-harmful things you can do to relieve anger and tension
  • Name 3 things you can do when life feels meaningless.
  • Name 3 activities you can do that will help you express your feelings. Examples: writing, drawing, hitting pillows, singing or playing music, dancing, walking, sports.
  • Name some things that help you get your mind off your loss.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Be good to yourself.


Please click on links to available help websites:

*The Healing Place website was the source for this information.