Stories of adolescent grief show excellent examples of how parents and loved ones can help a teenager through devastating times. The 2011 movie Soul Surfer tells the true-life store of Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost an arm during a shark attack. This traumatizing and painful experience could well cause Bethany to abandon surfing, a perhaps be too frightened to ever enter the ocean again. However, with an indomitable spirit and the help of her family and friends, she overcame the injury, and returned to the sport that she loved.
On a recent season of American Idol, finalist Kree Harrison gained national exposure in spite of being orphaned at an early age. Her father died in a plane crash when she was only 11 years old. Then, just 8 years after that, her mother was killed in a car crash. This type of experience is enough to discourage anyone, particularly a teenage. However, with the help of her grandmother and other loved ones, she survived the grieving process. In fact, she attributes her stellar performance on American Idol to the inspiration of parents from their shortened time together.
These stories of adolescent grief can show that the grieving process always ends and that the teenager can always look forward to things getting better, although he or she will likely not be able to imagine it at the time. They can also show how parents can patiently listen to their grieving children, be patient with their depression, and make the grief process as healthy and as brief as possible.