Teen Grief

that the event ever happened. This new reality may confuse you, and you may have difficulty concentrating or organizing your thoughts. Finishing a simple task may take more time than it usually does. You may have a hard time paying attention in class or completing assignments. Eventually, that confusion will reduce and it will be easier to focus again. Sometimes people feel completely numb, as if there is a cloud in their head filling up the space and you don’t really feel anything. A lot of times that numbness changes into other emotions, or comes back from time to time. If you are feeling numb, know this will not last forever. People who are grieving often feel angry— angry with the person who was drinking or got high and decided to drive. Or angry with the police for not stopping the impaired driver or with the doctors for not saving a loved one’s life. You may be mad at the person who died for getting into the car, or at yourself for somehow not preventing the crash. Some of those thoughts may not even really make sense later, but the feelings are there. The anger you feel may seem so intense you want revenge for your loved one. Anger frequently becomes guilt over time. Guilt is feeling somehow responsible for what happened, or thinking that you didn’t do enough in the relationship while your loved one was alive. You may say to yourself, “If only I had known,” or “If only I told him I loved him.” Guilt involves a lot of “should haves” or “should not haves.” Regrets are normal, but you cannot change the past. Although you may feel guilty for what happened to your loved one or guilty for the “should haves,” this is not your fault. Often your loved one will remember that you loved them and cared for them.


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