My name is Talia, I am 19 years old and I lost my dad when I was 16. I live with my Mum and 9 year old sister. My Dad’s death was really unexpected and I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I was in the middle of my GCSE’s at the time and with loss, school and general 16 year old problems I felt like my head was going to explode! I was offered help from school pastoral care but I felt like I was being talked at like I was a frail china doll, like they thought I was about to break or burst into tears any time they mentioned the word ‘Dad’. I know all the people helping me meant well, but being a teenager; it’s hard to believe adults at a time like that.
I felt like I was the only person in the world going through what I was going through. In school I felt like I stuck out as ‘the girl who’s Dad died’ and people looked at me differently. People also found it hard to talk to me and changed the subject if I ever started talking about my dad. I guess they were scared of saying the wrong thing. But I soon realised that people just cared about me a lot and wanted to be sure I was okay.
My mum found a support group for families like mine and I was so shocked at the amount of people that were a part of it. There were more people who had been through the same thing as me! We were invited on a group camping trip with the support group and I met teenagers of the families who were the same age as me. It felt amazing to finally have someone to speak to who fully gets it; I didn’t think such people existed! We could relate to each other about losing someone and other teenage things, such a connection felt incredible; one minute we’d be discussing if we viewed our parents body, the next we’d be talking about our favourite make-up, and that was TOTALLY NORMAL!
Part 2 coming soon!
Here is a link to Talia's blogs on 'The Teen Bereavement Project', a fantastic set of videos describing different aspects of grief and bereavement when you're a teenager.
What helped you feel less alone when you lost somebody?