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From Snapchats to Sadness: The Gen Z Guide to Coping with Loss

Losing a parent is one of a young persons most challenging experiences.

Making Sense of Grief

Losing a parent can be difficult at any age. But it can be one of a young person's most challenging experiences. Young people are still figuring out their identify while coming to terms with their loss and making sense of their grief.

Unfortunately, many young people find themselves needing more help and guidance. They often struggle to cope with their emotions in a healthy way. If this is you, then you are not alone – plenty of people who share your experience are waiting to support you through your grief.

Lauren's Story

One such person who experienced the loss of a parent at a young age is Lauren Muscarella. At first, she thought she had coped well by focusing on her future and avoiding her emotions. But two years later, she found herself in a low place and sought professional counseling. 

She discovered she had never learned to cope with her grief during therapy. She had merely pushed her emotions away, burying them deep inside. That was when she realized the importance of confronting her sorrow head-on.

Lauren’s experience inspired her to help other young people with loss and grief. She wrote a book called "Alice’s Law," in honor of her mother. She shares her story in her book and encourages others to be brave during their grief journey. 

Lauren also founded an organization called Trauma to Art. It offers a platform for artistic expression to people dealing with grief. People can express themselves through creative outlets such as painting and writing.

Dealing with Grief

Dealing with loss is never easy, but allowing yourself time and space to grieve is essential. Everyone’s grieving journey is different, so there's no right or wrong way to cope with loss and grief. What matters is that you acknowledge your emotions and take the time to process them.

Seek Help

Talking with a licensed therapist or counselor could provide the support you need. Sometimes, it takes time to figure out where to begin in seeking help. Your primary care provider or insurance company can give you recommendations. You can also do some research on your own to find the right therapist or counselor. 

It may also help to speak with a trusted family member or friend who has experienced loss. They can provide company, empathy, and understanding. Speaking with a clergy member may also help if you're religious or spiritual.

Take Care of Yourself

It's essential to take care of yourself during this challenging time. Grief can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Your body needs extra care to help you through it. Pay attention to your sleeping habits and get enough rest, even if it means taking a nap during the day. 

Eating healthy foods is also essential. It can be hard to want or even remember to eat, but try to make meals in advance so they are easier to grab. Regular exercise can help manage stress and anxiety. Engage in activities that make you feel good. Try walking in nature, practicing yoga or meditation, or exercising daily.

Express Your Emotions

You are allowed to feel whatever emotions you're experiencing. It's essential to allow yourself to feel and express yourself in healthy ways. Starting a journal can help you work through your emotions and feelings. Some people find comfort in creating art or music. For others, activities like hiking or running help them release tension. It can be helpful to speak with a therapist who can help you express your emotions healthily.

Connect With Others

Grief can make you feel like you're alone. Although everyone's journey is different, resources are available to help you. You can connect with others who understand what you're going through. Consider finding a grief support group in your area. The Dinner Party is an organization that brings young people together who are grieving. It invites those 21 to 45 to find community with peer-led support.

You can also join online communities, message boards, and social media groups dedicated to grief and loss. The website "Too Damn Young" provides helpful tips and support for young people on a grief journey. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can provide comfort, understanding, and a sense of community.

You Are Not Alone

Remember, you are not alone in your grief, and seeking help and support is a valid and practical way to manage complex emotions and find comfort. Take care of yourself and heed these suggestions to help you navigate your grief journey.

Loss and grief are never easy, but it's essential to remember that you don't have to walk this path alone. Reach out to resources like Lauren's Trauma to Art organization, and know there's help and support available to help you navigate your journey toward healing.

For more support and information on how to handle a trying time, take a look at our article Likes, Shares, and Loss: How Social Media is Changing the Way We Mourn.