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Understanding Grief

Grief is a mix of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, frustration, fear and anxiety that occurs when we experience a loss, whether it be from the death of a loved one, a divorce, a move to a new school, etc. Grief is the process of experiencing the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual response to this loss. Everyone's experience is different. It's important to work through these feelings now so they don't resurface later on or lead to destructive behaviors.

Some common signs of grief include:

  • inability to concentrate
  • shock, numbness
  • avoidance
  • anger
  • self-blame
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • loss of interest
  • over-activity, acting too busy

Techniques to help you work through:

  • identify and express feelings
  • journaling
  • letter-writing (write a letter and then shred it, or save it)
  • arts and crafts
  • music
  • exercise
  • laughing with friends
  • spending time with loved ones
  • make a memory book

Signs of healing:

  • feeling at peace with the past
  • hope for the future
  • feeling okay being alone (being careful not to isolate)


2nd Floor Helpline is a free and confidential 24/7 hotline for teens, call 888.222.2228

Comfort Zone Camp,
501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or guardian. All of our programming is free-of-charge.

Common Ground is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Manasquan, New Jersey. Our “home” is a beautiful and charming house that features rooms specifically designed to be utilized by the participants of our program. Each room offers a different modality for children and teens to express their feelings in age-appropriate ways. These include our talking circle, music, art, sand-play, puppetry, gross motor activity and full scale “play” hospital rooms.

We provide open-ended peer support groups for children ages 6-18 as well as a young adult support group for ages 19-30. We believe in supporting the family as a whole and therefore offer a concurrent adult support group which meets at the same time, for the caregiver of the child or teen who is participating in our program. Groups meet every other week in the evening. Our services are provided free of cost to participating families. Children and teens are assigned to groups according to age.

Learn more about GRIEF IN TEENS.