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Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve

Jenny Lee Wheeler

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0981621988 / ISBN 13: 9780981621982
Published by Quality Of Life Publishing Co, 2010
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve

Publisher: Quality Of Life Publishing Co

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Perfect Paperback

Book Condition:New

Edition: 1.

About this title

Synopsis:

Teens grieve differently from adults and often get lost in the shuffle after the death of a loved one. Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve is unique because it is a self-help book for grieving teens written by an actively grieving teen. Author Jenny Lee Wheeler lost her father to cancer when she was fourteen and validates for her peers that they have the right to grieve in their own way and according to their own timetable, that their grief attacks might be different from those of adults around them, and that they aren't going crazy if they see signs from their loved one. Dr. Heidi Horsley writes in the Foreword, "Teen grief is often overlooked and unacknowledged. ... Jenny's journey will strike a note with teenagers everywhere who have experienced the loss of someone they love. She gives sound advice and lets them know they are not alone.”

From the Author:

Welcome, grieving teens (and those who want to understand and help comfort a grieving teen). I wrote this book because I want grieving teenagers to know they are not alone. I hope that by sharing my grief experiences, you will feel okay with "where you are at" in your own grief journey. I want you to know that there are many teens going through similar things, and I hope some of the suggestions I offer in the book will ring true for you and help you to heal from your loss.
 
Here's a little background. My dad got sick when I was 14, and he died a month later. It was really painful to watch him get weaker each day and to realize that he was going to die. Years earlier, Dad had signed a document called a Living Will, stating that if he ever became so sick that he had to be hooked up to machines to keep him alive, he would want to be removed from life support and be able to die a natural death. To honor his wishes, we as a family gathered around his hospital bed one afternoon as nurses removed him from the machines that were breathing for him and keeping him alive. He was so sick that he was unconscious, but the nurses told us to go ahead and talk to him because he might still be able to hear us. I kept telling Dad how much I loved him, and I was thanking him over and over again for being such a great dad to me. Even though it was strange to think that within a few minutes he would no longer be alive, we were able to tell him that we would be okay and that he could go in peace. As he died right in front of us, I felt relieved that he was no longer suffering but sad that beginning at that moment my own dad was no longer alive. I felt like I crossed over some sort of barrier, like I was automatically in a new part of my life -- the part after my dad died. Dad's death left a huge hole in my life, and I cried a lot.
 
As the days and months went by, I began to notice that I grieved differently from the adults around me. My grief attacks -- those unexpected waves of grief that sometimes come crashing down upon us -- seemed to be triggered by things that were unusual, even weird. I began writing about my observations and experiences and decided to put them into a book to validate for you that weird truly is normal when we as teenagers grieve!
 
I guess you can say I'm fairly "experienced" with grief, because grieving has been a normal part of my life ever since I was five years old and my grandfathers died weeks apart. As a family we found ways to talk about our sadness and express our feelings of loss. This helped me after my grandma died when I was eleven, and especially after my dad died three years later.
 
At the end of each chapter of Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve, you will find bullet points for easy reading. Here are some of the things you will read about:

  • You have the right to be grieving no matter what; no loss is too small (like the death of a pet!).
  • You don't have to act tough to show others how strong you are.
  • You don't have to "get over" your loss or "snap out of it" because of someone else's expectations.
  • It is important to share your feelings; "sucking it up" will only hurt you more.
  • Reach out to others, and most of them will try to reach back.
  • Talk about it; try to find at least one person you can talk with openly to help you heal.
  • If you find it's too hard to talk about your grief, that's okay! Maybe you can express your feelings in other healthy ways, like through writing, art, music, or other activities unique to you.
  • Don't take it personally if some people -- even some of your friends -- don't know what to say to you and start to avoid you. Many people feel awkward talking about death.
  • The first holiday, birthday, and other special dates after your loved one has died are difficult, but sometimes the second one can be even harder!
  • No feeling is the wrong feeling. You have the right to feel whatever you are feeling.
  • Nothing is wrong with you if your grieving patterns are different from those of adults -- for teenagers they can be unpredictable, and this often seems weird.
  • You don't have to feel embarrassed about grief attacks; everyone who has experienced a painful loss has had them.
  • Your grief attacks don't have to be similar to those of adults; try talking about these differences to a family member or other person who is also grieving. This will help you both learn to tune into each other's feelings and comfort each other.
  • Signs of continued love come in many different ways. Try to keep your eyes, ears, mind, and heart open to these special synchronicities.
  • As teens, we have the special gift of naturally accepting out-of-the ordinary experiences like seeing signs of continued love, which can bring us comfort.
Thank you for letting me share my grief journey. Sharing my experiences with you helps me to continue to heal.

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