If you have any interest at all in teenage boys and grief, this is a must read: Reporter John Faherty takes a rare look at the grief journeys of five boys in "The Rules of Grieving: They Are Still Boys." The teens have all lost parents (none of them died by suicide), and over the span of a school year, Faherty attended the monthly grief group at their high school. His in-depth story highlights 17-year-old Phillip Bryant, whose mother died when he was four years old and whose father died in 2012, as well as:
The Smallwood brothers, Chuck and William, lost their dad to liver disease in 2011. Chuck keeps his hair long. William keeps his short. Both think it is important that people know their father's liver disease was genetic, not because of drinking.
Andrew Kraus lost his father and still doesn't like to hear his name called out over the school intercom because that's how he was summoned to the office in January 2012. His mother was there and the news was bad.
Zach Deck's mother, Jaimie, died in 2010 when she was 32. She died suddenly, at home, after a blood clot broke loose and entered her lungs. Zach woke that night to the sound of a panicked call from his stepfather to 911. He still cringes each time he hears a siren.
Faherty's moving story is accompanied by brief and poignant videos (less than a minute long) from each of the boys, which give voice to a profound truth each has found in his grief. Phillip is also interviewed in a longer video, in which he says,
"I looked at death as a greater thing. It comes and goes as it pleases, and there's no stopping that ... If death comes ... it's for a reason. You leave for an ultimate goal. You don't know what it is, and you question why. You kind of learn to accept it, I guess."For more information on resources for bereaved teenagers, see the Grief after Suicide post "Teen Resource Focuses on Grief from Teen's Perspective."