Adolescents and Grief

Adolescence is a time of great change. As teenagers try to bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, they struggle with issues of identity and independence. Losing someone at this time can make life very difficult.

Adolescents need clear and accurate information at the time of a death. Involving teens in the rituals can help them, but be sure to treat them in a manner appropriate to their age. They may wish to take an active part in funeral arrangements, or to mark the death in their own way.

Adolescent grief can appear in many ways: confusion, withdrawal, crying, feelings of emptiness, loneliness, disturbances in sleep and/or eating patterns, and exhaustion.

Young Peoples Experience

Experience of loss as a young person

Girl on Window Sill

News from people who have experienced loss


Adolescent Loss

Loss and young people

Teenage Boy

Factsheet on loss and grieving for young people


How you can support a bereaved teen

Everyone grieves in their own way; there is no set formula to help. However, adults who are willing and able to listen to teens, who accept their feelings as real and important, and who model openness in discussing issues of life and death, can support a teenager in loss and bereavement.

The Candle Project UK has good information about young people and grief, such as the leaflets here.

Grief Encounter UK has a great site for young people, including the Grief Guide for Teenagers.

Presentation by Dr. Elaine Kasket on supporting a bereaved teen in the digital age.