Hello everyone, I’m 13 and this is my first time writing anything public, so please be easy on me! First off, I would love to acknowledge those who are struggling right now (everyone.) The world is crazy and full of problems, so you are definitely not alone. There are so many things you could possibly be struggling with, so I won’t list them all, because then this would just be a long, boring article. But let me tell you that I know trauma, grieving, losing a loved one, family financial problems, and even abuse…all at the age of 13. I’m not saying you don’t have it hard. I’m saying that everyone has their story. And I don’t want you to feel alone.
I know that one time people feel alone is when someone you love commits suicide. I lost my dad to suicide last fall. He was a great dad, even if we had our times. The reason I want to write about this is because I don’t want the stigma about suicide to continue. If you have lost someone to suicide, don’t be ashamed to tell people that. If you don’t want to, of course you shouldn’t feel pressured, but just know that suicide doesn’t automatically make him/her a bad person. I just say that unfortunately I lost a loved one to suicide, and that I loved them.
Sometimes it’s easier than others. One time it’s especially hard is during holidays. That’s when I really miss my dad. My suggestion is to get together with your family and set aside a special time that day to reflect and remember your friend or loved one. You can tell happy memories about them, make one of their favorite foods or treat, or simply cry or laugh together. It’s all very comforting, just the fact that you are not grieving alone! Also know that you are not the only person affected by his/her death. Give another person a call! Tell them how you’re doing. It’s nice to have someone to talk to, preferably someone who knew your loved one.
Talking about suicide and making space to remember and honor the person who passed works well…until it doesn’t. Unfortunately, I know what that looks like, too. For me, it looks like a meltdown. Here’s what I’ve learned about it: If you have a sudden meltdown in front of lots of people, ask to be excused by someone who understands. Then go away, get fresh air, or a restroom. Take a minute to cry and stay as long as you need. Then when it lessens, tell someone about your struggle – someone who understands you and your struggle. You might even end up finding someone new to talk to.
Easier said than done though, right? Well, all I’ve gotten out of this is support and hugs, so it seems to work for me. If you aren’t comfortable sharing what triggered your emotions, that’s completely fine! Just at least try to find an outlet of some sort to let all those feelings go. If you can’t find a person, maybe try writing your feelings in a journal.
One weird thing is that when you melt down in front of fewer people, you’re even more noticeable. If it is a group of people you trust, tell them what’s up and let them help you. Even if someone just listens to you talk about your grieving it makes you feel better. If the people around you aren’t the best to talk to for whatever reason, just get out of there as soon as possible. Take as long as you need to recover. You don’t even have to go back if you don’t feel like it. Again, as long as you have somewhere or someone for all of your feelings, then you don’t feel like you have everything stuck inside.
I know this was a short article. But if you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to say much for you to understand. You already know what it’s like. If you have any questions at all for me please send them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them. I would also love to know if this article helped you in any way, or if you took my advice and how it turned out. I hope you all get comfort and joy through the struggles you are enduring. There is no way to completely “overcome” your grief, but there is a way to help the pain sometimes. All I know is that there is still hope and that even the smallest amount can get you through so much pain!
Here are a few resource for those grieving.
IN A CRISIS?
Teen Line: This page connects teens with other teens who are trained to talk to kids in crisis. There’s a phone or text option
Hotlines and Websites for Teens: This site links teens directly to various hotlines they can use to get help.
Teen Line: This hotline is available for calls, text messages, and emails from teens in crisis.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This organization offers 24/7 phone counseling to prevent suicide.