What Younger People Need To Know About Grief
By: Mattie McClenny
Depending on the age of someone who experiences grief, they may not be able to fully comprehend what they are feeling. Many younger children may not even be able to verbally express what they are feeling or why they have these feelings. Many of them cry, act out or shut themselves off from others. Is this normal? Yes, any of these reactions can be normal.
Grief is something that is as unique as the person who goes through it. So we can never say that a reaction is wrong or not the right way to grieve. This can cause the person going through the grief to feel like there is something wrong with them. Be careful not to put extra pressure on someone or cause them to worry about something that is not true.
Grief is an emotion or response to loss. It can happen if a person grows close to someone or something and then they lose them. This can be a permanent or temporary loss. There can be many factors or aspects that can be affected by a loss. They can go through emotional or physical changes. They could behave differently, question their faith, fear cultural norms, have trouble thinking or carrying out everyday activities and/or withdraw socially.
Grief is something that usually you share with others in your family or group who experienced the same loss. However, if others in your group don’t know how to react and withdraw you might feel all alone and not know what to do. Students who attend school can turn to their counselor for answers or help with what they are struggling with. If the grief is so overwhelming that they don’t feel like they can cope, then outside resources can be explored to help them.
There are options to have an online counselor. You can have a counselor at school who works for someone other than the school district. So, if you or someone you know feels like you/them suffered a loss and need to speak to someone about it, start with the school counselor. If you have concerns about a friend or family member, try to talk to them first. If they continue to exhibit signs of depression, isolation or other actions that cause concern you can still speak to the school counselor. They will keep everything confidential if it is not a potential cause of harm. School counselors are here to help.