Teenage years… full of exploration and self development, as well as more trials and tribulations that one may think they can get through. During this time, who we are as independent individuals is constantly revolving and changing until we find out who it is we want to be. For most, this can have a natural progression, winding its way to a more solidified sense of self coming into our mid 20’s. However, this can be severely stinted or halted if there is a significant death in the teen’s life during this developmental period. If a parent, sibling or significant friend dies during this stage of life, the stability and space to grow can be temporarily paused due to the impact of the loss. As someone in the teen’s life, you may see them regress to the last stage of development, you might see some acting out, or you might see the teen isolate or become quieter than before. As we are all humans, all expressions of grief will be different. One thing that has been prevalent in the work I have done with teens is honouring that their grieving process is slow. Because of the chaotic nature of the teen years, and the desire to fit in, teens have this innate ability to hold their grief for roughly two years (Yes, you read that correctly – TWO YEARS!). For those around the teen who has suffered the loss, behaviours or responses months or years down the road may seem abnormal or unexplainable to how they were functioning prior to the death. To help our teens during this time, the best thing anyone can do is love them and support them as best as possible. Keep them connected to those that love them, acknowledge that they are trying their best given the circumstances, and encourage them to connect with others in a healthy manner. In the event you are a teen or are someone supporting a teen who has suffered a loss, and are wanting some support, please visit my contact page to schedule an appointment.