How to Support Grieving Youth

Avoid:
• Arguing over trivial matters• Giving a lot of advice• Making moralistic statements about the person who died

• Minimizing the loss

• Discouraging the grieving process

• Assigning new responsibilities right away

Do:

• Learn about the grief process

• Be genuinely truthful

• Demonstrate love and respect

• Encourage talking about feelings and talking about the deceased friend

• LISTEN, not matter what

• Offer to attend the funeral/service with a youth

• Allow crying

• Expect laughter too

• Follow the lead of the “survivor” with patience and kindness

• Offer opportunity for remembering

• Expect that your presence may be important, while talking may be limited

• Share some experience with listen, but keep the focus on the person you are supporting

• Help identify other to talk to

• Understand that memorials can be comforting

• Believe in healing and growth