Teens struggle with grief as much as any adult. Yet, they are often quiet or unaware about their true feelings. When it is the death of their sibling, they often feel like their grief is not as serious or relevant as their parents’ grief. And when parents are grieving one of their children, it is often difficult for them to focus on their surviving childrens’ needs. During a time when so much is changing and they are just beginning to understand more about themselves and the world around them, the death of a sibling can be extremely traumatic. And trauma, when not addressed, is stored and reveals itself in dangerous ways down the road.
We know teens are overloaded with zoom right now during this pandemic. And we also understand that their self-esteem is still developing, which means that speaking to a group about a most sacred and heart-rending loss, isn’t easy. Instead of a zoom retreat (which we did try last year), we’ve decided to offer something akin to a “Pen Pal” program.
Teens can sign up to be matched with a peer that has endured a similar experience of losing a brother or sister. We will connect the teens via email and they can decide whether they would like to communicate via phone, email, text, or other message apps. We will not monitor their conversations, however, we will check in monthly to make sure that the connection has been helpful to both participants. Please have the teen themself fill out the following application, which asks a few questions about their grief and their general interests.
TEEN MATCH-UP FOR CANCER SURVIVORS AND THEIR SIBLINGS