Teen grief can be especially complicated. During these turbulent years, teens are often juggling homework, dating, part time work, and noticing physical changes in their bodies. In addition to all this, some teens are experiencing grief for the first time, and find themselves unprepared to cope with deep feelings of loss. Because our society is so frightened of death, we often leave those who are grieving alone, and teens may not know where to turn. Looking to address this very issue, Scholastic fills a void on the subject with the publication of I Will Remember You: A Guidebook Through Grief for Teens. This warm and empathetic guide is unique in that it speaks directly to teens, enabling them to realize that grief, in all its stages, is a natural response to loss.
While reassuring teens that there is no "normal" way to grieve, bestselling author Laura Dower and child psychiatrist Elena Lister M.D. couple personal stories and poems about death from real teens with dozens of creative exercises designed to help them work through grief in their own way. The authors suggest exploring feelings in a number of thoughtful ways. Interspersed throughout the book are passages marked The Doctor is In and Try This. Contained within these passages are advice and suggestions based on Dr. Lister's many years of grief counseling as well as exercises, visualizations, and other creative ways to express oneself in the midst of grief - alone and with family and friends. The authors take readers through the five stages of grief, encouraging them to pay attention to and write down their feelings. And readers can learn about the history of the role of ritual in grief, and discover ways to make up their own rituals. Here too is important information on understanding the physical changes that may accompany grief-from appetite change, headaches, and back pain, to forgetfulness. Just as everyone handles grief differently, every situation of grief is different. The authors address the varied emotional issues involved in the loss of a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, and even a pet. They also explore coping with complicated grief, such as violent or sudden death, long term illness, suicide, and stranger mourning--from Princess Di's death to all too common school shootings. Addressing one of the most common questions teens ask when they are grieving, "Is there a God?" the authors encourage teens to find their own beliefs, whatever those may be. Finally, the authors share advice on how to find professional help, how to start a support group, and how to help someone else through his or her grief. Filled with comforting advice and straightforward information, I Will Remember You can help teens through one of the most difficult events they will ever face, encouraging them to keep remembering--but keep moving forward too.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Laura Dower has written and compiled numerous books for children and young adults, including the six-book nonfiction series Real Teens: Diary of a Junior Year and an upcoming anthology about peace. She lives in New York.
Elena Lister, M.D. is a practicing psychoanalyst and adult, adolescent, and child psychiatrist. She has been counseling, teaching, and speaking about grief with parents, children, and professionals for nearly a decade. Dr. Lister currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College in New York City and as Collaborating Psychoanalyst at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center. She speaks and consults regularly at hospitals and private schools in the New York area, especially on subjects of grief and loss. Dr. Lister lives in New York with her husband, daughter, and son.