In the article, “Teen Grief After a Georgia Drunk Driving Death,” we provided an overview of the grieving process your teen may experience after the loss of a loved one. Many parents feel helpless as they watch their children grieve, and want to know how they can help. This article focuses on practical steps you can take to help your teen deal with the loss of a friend or a sibling.
Many teens find it helpful to talk through their grief. Encourage your child to share her thoughts and her memories. If your teen won’t talk to you or her friends, suggest that she discuss the Georgia drunk driving accident with a teacher, counselor, coach, or clergy member.
Not all teens deal with their feelings by talking. Your teen may prefer to write about his loss in a journal or to express his pain through artwork or music. Any form of creative expression is a good way to deal with emotion.
Teens who don’t enjoy creative arts may express themselves physically. An athletic teen may find that running or playing basketball is a good outlet for her feelings.
Don’t worry if it seems like it is taking a while for your teen to come to terms with the drunk driving death. It is not normal to recover from a loss overnight. In fact, your teen may always miss his friend. But, at some point, your child should be able to acknowledge that his friend is gone and should begin to heal. He will still experience periods of sadness, but will slowly resume normal life. Assure your teen that enjoying activities and thinking of the future does not mean he is abandoning his friend.
When your child is ready, encourage her to do something in her friend’s memory. She may want to place a marker at the site of the Georgia DUI crash or she may want to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. Doing something in memory of her friend may help your child feel like she has gained some control over an otherwise out-of-control situation.
Atlanta DUI victim attorney Shane Smith has dedicated his practice to helping families cope with the aftermath of a Georgia DUI accident. To learn more, request a free copy of his book, I Was Hit By A Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next?, or contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629.