When a Friend Dies - for Teens

Having friends is a good thing at any time of life, but having friends when you're a teenager is especially important. Teenage friends help us not only have fun but also help us figure out who we are and give us the support we need as we become more of our own person. Friends can become our second family and relationships (and their feelings) can be intense. When you're a teenager, good friends can be lifesavers.

A teen friend dying is a nightmare. Los padres, abuelos y familiares generalmente hacen todo lo posible para evitarlo. If the teen is sick or hurt and in the hospital, the doctors, nurses, and other staff all work hard to keep the person alive and well. The friend who dies fights as hard as possible to keep living unless there comes a time when the friend gets too tired and the fight doesn't seem worth it anymore. Everyone is upset when it does happen.

Having a friend die can be very upsetting. You may have lots of different emotions, and here are just some of them:

  • Sad that your friend has died and won't have a chance to grow up.
  • Sad for your friend's parents and family.
  • Lonely because you really miss your friend.
  • Angry because young people aren't supposed to get cancer and die.
  • Angry that the doctors, God, or someone couldn't keep the friend from dying.
  • Angry because other people just don't understand.
  • Relief to still be alive.
  • Guilty to still be alive when a friend has died.
  • Scared to die, too.
  • Scared of being friends with other people because they might die, too.
  • Hurt because it really does hurt to lose a friend.
  • Helpless as there was nothing you could do to prevent the death.
  • Hopeless that you will ever feel better again.
  • Glad to have had the chance to have such a good friend.
  • Glad the suffering is over for your friend.

When a friend dies, especially after a hard battle with an illness or injury, it is OK to be glad that the struggle is over and to be upset that the person died.

Puede pensar:

  • "Se estaba poniendo tan difícil, que estoy contento de que el sufrimiento haya terminado".
  • "¿Por qué pasó esto? ¡No es justo!"
  • "Realmente es muy doloroso".
  • "¿Qué pasará conmigo?"
  • "Why him and not me?"
  • "I wish I would have been nicer to her."
  • "Nadie debería pasar por esto".

¿Qué puedes hacer si tienes todos o algunos de estos sentimientos y pensamientos? All of these thoughts and feelings are part of grief, and grief is what happens to you on the inside when someone dies. It's important pay attention to grief and find some ways to help yourself feel and do even a little bit better as time goes on.

Estas son algunas cosas que pueden resultarle útiles:

  • Hablar con alguien sobre cómo se siente por la muerte de su amigo. Pick someone you trust and who can really listen.
  • Find another way to express what it's like for you on the inside—writing, art, music, or a memorial project.
  • Enviar a la familia una tarjeta o algún tipo de demostración de simpatía. Si puede, cuéntele lo que siempre recordará sobre su amigo.
  • Find something to do that connects you to your friend—something your friend liked to do or fits with your friend's personality.
  • Take some time alone to think—just don't stay away too long.
  • Aprovechar sus creencias sobre la espiritualidad o su grupo religioso, si lo tiene.
  • Pasar tiempo con sus amigos haciendo cosas divertidas.
  • Talk about your friend who died—keep the memory of your friend alive even if it hurts, especially at first.
  • Recuerde que una de las mejores formas de honrar la vida de alguien es vivir y recordar la enseñanza que le dejó su amigo sobre la vida.

If a friend with cancer dies you may wonder about attending the funeral or memorial service. ¿Debería ir o no? Definitivamente, no hay una sola respuesta que se aplique a todas las personas y situaciones.

Puede ser útil pensar sobre los motivos por los que tenemos funerales:

  • Para recordar lo que hacía especial a la persona que murió.
  • Para honrar la memoria y la vida de la persona que murió.
  • Para honrar y apoyar a la familia.
  • Para recibir el apoyo de los demás.
  • To be together with other people who are grieving and who know the person who died.
  • To help make the death more real and that may help us deal with it in the future.
  • En algunos funerales, para conectarnos con una comunidad religiosa y el consuelo de un credo religioso.
  • Para comenzar a imaginar el futuro sin que la persona esté físicamente con nosotros.

If you are considering attending a funeral or memorial service, there are often several options of activities to attend. You may want to attend all of them, some of them, or none of them, and some of them may only be open to the family:

  • Visitation or a wake—where family and friends gather to offer support to the family and sometimes to view the body.
  • El funeral o a la ceremonia conmemorativa.
  • La parte del servicio junto a la tumba en el cementerio.
  • The scattering of ashes if the body was cremated.
  • Gathering after the services—there may be refreshments or a meal and it may be in a home or in a religious or community building.

Para algunas personas es muy importante ir al funeral. Although it may be very sad and upsetting, these people feel better in the long-run because they went. For these people, being a part of the service helps them feel closer to the person who died and closer to the family and friends of the person. Algunos dirán que "necesitan" ir.

Other people do not find attending the funeral or memorial service helpful. These people will need to look for other ways to feel close to the person who died and other ways to feel close to the person's family or friends. If the body will be present at the service, these people believe that seeing the body would not be helpful. Mourning for these people may be done in a more private way.

Si tenía un amigo que murió y no está seguro de querer ir al funeral, busque a alguien que sepa de funerales y hable con esa persona. There are many ways to honor and remember a friend who has died, and attending a funeral may be a good way, but it is not the only way.

If you have had a good friend die, that then means that your friend had a good friend, too-you! Your friendship was a great gift that you gave to someone who really needed a friend, and you helped to make your friend's days better than they would have been without you. Your friend may not have been able to say "thank you," so we'll say it here-"Thank you for giving the gift of friendship to another young person. Independientemente de lo que suceda o sucedió, es un regalo que no será olvidado".