You Are Not Alone We Are Here.

 

Becoming my own man and                GrievingTeens.

 

My story begins in 8th grade, when my parents got divorced and I was left with my mother, after my father decided to leave the country and go back to his homeland in Johannesburg. His decision to leave the country entirely made a negative impact on me, as a 12 year old trying to become my own man without the proper father figure guiding me through adolescence. Around the same time, After the divorce between my parents, my family began to fall apart from all sides. Within a year, my older brother would almost die three times as a result of using hard drugs and got hospitalized once for it. My uncle and aunt got divorced, my dog died, my friends seemed to thin out, and I felt more alone than ever. It was maddening and it was even worse to realize that I had only myself to truly push for. I had to find a way to help myself. My older brother went into a dark place and he was out of the house more than he was in it. It not only placed stress on myself and my mother, but also the fact that I was already dealing with the loss of my father in my life, only furthered my struggle to find my path as a young man without even an older brother to guide me. My family and I would move three times within a year, and it would uproot me from trying to find a stable place to plant myself to find any sort of stability in my life where I had none. Having a home where I could find peace was absolutely needed for me to start maturing and growing up. During this period, I made the choice to go to South Africa to visit my father and stay there for an undefined/uncertain amount of time. It was really for closure and answers to the questions I had, but it didn’t serve a purpose other than hurting me in the long run. I soon decided to leave a couple months into being there, and had to get back to the states and back into school. I had given up my scholarship at Xavier college prep, and gave up Boy Scouts (another way for me to gain skills and leadership as a young man), water polo, and most of the friends I had made there my freshman year. I had to go to a different school and I decided on Palm Desert High School, I made new friends as a result. One of them who I met that same year, killed himself during the summer of my sophomore year. I was left only with his memory and the feeling of guilt that I didn’t see the signs or that I could’ve done more. And that’s where the grief group came into play. I attended for all three years I was at PDHS and it was a way to verbally and confidentially express the things that ailed me for the past 5 years. Through it, I found the confidence I needed to push forward in life and it gave me the internal strength to deal with things that would come in the future. It was a gift that kept giving. In short, my time with Tom Morris in the Grief Group was educational, and emotionally invaluable.

 

- Harrison, 22

 

Cherish the Memories.

The thing I hated to know and had to deal with, finally approached me. It was roughly 5:45am, I had a missed call, weird so early. It was someone I hadn’t spoke to in a while, I was nervous to call back I didn’t want to accept the fact that she called. I picked up my phone and called, I could tell something was wrong, sounded like she had been crying. She told me it wasn’t good and I need to come quick. I dropped my phone and ran to my mom in a panic with tears rolling down my face, she woke up panicking, startled. We ran out the door and to the car, running stop signs and lights going as fast as we could. But we were late, 4 minutes too late. She’s standing there looking at me and looked back at the bed, I looked and immediately started crying my eyes out. I couldn't walk, couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything, but cry. You were dead. I thought it was a nightmare gripping your arm that was still so warm. I looked at you and asked why? Why so soon? Now is not the time!! I couldn’t do anything didn’t wanna talk about it. I just knew you were looking down on me. I would have dreams of you saying you are proud of the young man I’m becoming and that you loved me and in time everything will be okay! At that moment I knew I had to push and strive to do better and make a man out of myself for you! I had obstacles in the way, yes they got the best of me and they had me for a while, I knew you weren’t happy. I changed got my act together started to do better! And I became the young man you wanted me to be! 

I Love You Grandma.

 

-Anonymous, 23

Life requires death as its conclusion. This is part of the human condition. Death is what gives life meaning. Growing from death is only an option. Growth is a goal that can only be achieved with effort. Many people are “torn down” by grief and it sets them back. Growing is a choice. Choose growth or choose life. The decision is only yours.

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