Maria J.M. Fiddelaers-Jaspers
KPC Group 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

E-mail:r.fiddelaers@kpcgroep.nl

 

THE SELF-NARRATIVE OF THE BEREAVED ADOLESCENT

 

The SCM-L (Teenagers Loss Version of the Self-confrontation method) is developed to help adolescents to tell the story of their life and their loss. The SCM-L helps to construct meaning out of the loss of their father, mother or sibling. Bereaved adolescents seem to be vulnerable but also very strong, flexible and powerful. In our study with 23 adolescents we expected to find that these young people at risk show much unfulfilled longing, maybe ending in prolonged grieving or powerlessness and isolation, or in hopelessness and helplessness. And the study did find young people with these types of valuation. But it also included adolescents with unity and love and with strength and unity as valuation ype, e.g. when telling about memories of the deceased and even sometimes when telling about powerful experiences in the last few days in the life of their loved one. Young bereaved people are often forgotten mourners. At the outside they show laughing, power, an 'everything is all right-face', in the inside they are sad, confused, angry, jealous and lonely. In this study, these adolescents joined a support group for bereaved students at school. Before and after the eight meetings they did the SCM-L. It seemed that several factors were particularly helpful in this difficult period of their lives: being invited to tell the story again, warm attention for the loss, sharing feelings and experiences with other students.