April 2003
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Learning to cope and move on
By: Kayla Hounsell, Gander Collegiate, Gander, NL

Death. To some people this is the most awful word they will ever hear during their lives. To hear that a loved one has passed away or has very little time left can be devastating. Despite what some people may think, for teens it can sometimes be even harder.

Being a teenager isnít easy and we donít need something as overwhelming as death to add to the task.

It sounds like such a final thought. And to a certain degree may be it is. However, it doesnít have to be as final as some people may think.

If you understand exactly what is going on and what is come, there are ways to cope with this emotionally draining and difficult aspect of life.

Whether it be with a teacher, a counsellor, a parent, or simply a friend, I believe the best way to cope with the death of a person close to you is to talk about it. Sometimes the most helpful thing is to have someone just listen to you while you share your thoughts and feelings.

It often makes a person feel better to know someone else knows what they are going through, and to realize they are not alone.

Always remember that in situations where you feel as though nothing can make it better, your friends will always be there for you. When youíre scared to look ahead, and it hurts to look back, look beside you and your best friend will be there.

Sometimes, especially for teens who are often in a state of confusion, it may be easier to cope with death if you understand what is going on.

For example, sometimes when a family member becomes increasingly ill, the rest of the family will try to hide what is going on in hopes of protecting the teenager. I strongly disagree with this choice. I think it is much better if the family and doctors explain what is going on to the teen so he or she will understand whatís happening.

Believe it or not, it often helps a great deal if you know what is going on and you are not left wondering. Even if it is in the situation of a sudden death, it is still better to understand how it happened. Sometimes a person can come to a conclusion that is actually worse than the reality.

Moving on
The hardest aspect of dealing with a death is moving on. Often people are afraid to move on. They feel as though they shouldnít go on with their lives because the person who died cannot go on with his/her life. People often feel guilty.

One of the best ways to deal with this is to think about what your friend or family member would have wanted. Most definitely, they would want their family and friends to be happy.

Again, death seems like a final thought, but true friends and family are forever, and one day you will be reunited.


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