There are several types of adolescent grief. Some have to do with loss, such as the loss of friends after a family moves from one city to another. Another has to do with the hurt of rejection, as when a boyfriend or girlfriend decides to choose someone else. Perhaps the most serious of the types of adolescent grief comes in the wake of the death of a loved one. This is particularly hard as the adolescent comes to realize that they will never have the company of that person again. It reminds them of their own mortality. It can make them feel that life is meaningless and that forming new relationships is not worth the hurt they may experience if that person passes away as well. Understanding and respecting these types of pain is one of the best ways for loved ones to help their teenager end the grief process in a positive way.
Parents, family members, and friends can provide support for their teenager during these trying times. Perhaps the most important factor is the patience for loved ones with the teenager that is grieving. The grieving process takes time, and parents need to give their children that time without making the mistake of telling their teenager that he or she should “be tough” or that they are being “too dramatic”. Although a parent should not hasten the grieving process, they can steer it from the negative aspects of pain and loss to the positive aspects of having had a good experience and the need to make the most of each day.