Eternity lasts a long time, also when you're graduating
April 14, 2014
At key moments in the life of a young person, it is important that parents recognize that milestone. For instance during graduation, while waiting for school results, obtaining a driver's license, getting a first job or an event like that. It's so important that you show that you care and that you're 'rooting for' the child, and celebrating the success afterwards together (or go through the disappointment when things didn't work out as expected). For young bereaved people who have to live without one or both parents, these are very challenging moments.
Think about it. Place yourself in their shoes for just a moment. When you do feel that you have to do a Big Thing, have to perform well, it takes guts to do so. But your friends experience this same moment quite differently. With parents to back them up, mentally and practically. At moments like that, a bereaved child may think 'my parents are not there to experience it with me', of 'I must not fail', or 'I'll take care of it all by myself, as usual'. These emotions are sometimes not expressed, but they often are present. And that kind of emotions increases the stress level that is already associated with facing challenges like, for instance, final exams.
It is in the interest of the young person and for the end result that he or she gets enough support, and really feels that people around them really, truly care about what is happening. Because let's face it: for most young bereaved people the 'simply living everyday life with all everyday struggles' in itself is quite the challenge.
Surprise yourself and support a young person around you who really needs it. Even if it seems that he or she is really independent and strong.