It doesn’t last for just a few months, or even a few years after the death of such an important person in your life at such a young age. The pain, the absence, the loneliness and always feeling like everybody else has got something you can never have again, that’s forever, and for the rest of my life, there will always be parts of my life and heart missing.
I lost a parent at just 14 so have been through it all; the good times and the bad. Most significantly though, times when friends didn’t know how to help me. I wasn’t asking for much but they just didn’t have the knowledge of what would be most beneficial. There are many things to take into consideration for a person that has lost someone so close and influential to them as a parent at a vital stage such as the teenage years, here are a few that I have come up based on my previous experience with grief and inexperienced friends.
First, that we not only feel grief for ourselves but also everybody else in the family as if it’s a never-ending loop of sadness for everybody. For example, if you have a sibling you feel their grief on top of yours and if you don’t then you just feel extra loneliness which is a horrible feeling fuelling the grief and sadness as well. Also, if there is another parent in the household you feel helpless as you want to take their pain away desperately, you feel indescribable sadness for the fact that they have been left behind and that they have lost their partner they were supposed to spend the rest of their life with. I would personally say that half of the time I spent crying over my mum was for my dad also and the fact that he had been left with two children to raise alone without his soulmate.
Second, sometimes we truly want to talk about it and sometimes it’s a good thing to talk about it. I understand that many friends feel clueless and awkward about the whole entire topic, they will avoid bringing it up at all costs and when it does come up into conversation all they can say is they’re sorry however it doesn’t make us feel any better at all it just reminds us as to why we cannot bring it up even if we wanted to. This is because while they are trying desperately hard to avoid that topic we are desperately reaching out internally for somebody to properly talk about it and for us to feel comfortable enough to share how we feel and for it to be okay, for us to feel listened and want to talk about it instead of being dreadfully awkward.
Lastly, and most importantly, losing a parent is forever. It’s until the day we die which will probably be longer than many of your friends and that can be very upsetting and hard to handle. For me, losing my mum especially as a girl I feel as if I have lost the most important role model in my life and the person I am supposed to learn everything from, gone. I can no longer just go into my mother’s arms when I’m feeling down and have her tell me everything is going to be okay, I must do that to myself, that’s what my friends don’t think about on a day to day basis. From a shopping buddy to somebody to celebrate my life’s achievements with to boyfriend advisor, all of that is gone, and even though sometimes friends fill some of those spots unconsciously they also need to know that we need extra help in those areas as we don’t have out mum to fall back onto when our friends let us down, were all alone. Through every milestone and achievement, I gain I just wish I could see her face when I tell her, would she be happy, proud? I can imagine but never know for sure, these are the things that friends of people who lose a parent in the younger stages of life don’t put into consideration. Every single day of our lives is affected, from weddings to having babies, we have to live every moment with the absence of such an important figure that we all just wanted to see us through life and live every moment with us.
That’s why every single day is a struggle and friends are one of the most important people to us, even more than normal because they must do some of the replacing where our parent shaped whole sits. Friends need to understand and take into consideration these factors for if they encounter somebody who has or might have to go through this in their life in the future. This is what we deal with on a day to day basis and that is why we are strong and we should be told that because for us it’s the best thing in the world to hear from a friend, not an I’m sorry or I’m here for you.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.