Our Stories: Coping with Grief

Sara* was 15 when her brother died. At the time, her father was incarcerated and her mother turned to drugs to cope with the loss of her son. Two years later, when Sara was just 17, her mother, her boyfriend and another friend all died within a few months of each other. All the important people in her life had been ripped away. Then someone suggested that Sara reach out to the youth and family program at Treasure Coast Hospice for help.

Initially, Sara was resistant to accept that she lacked the ability to connect with her feelings or had the tools to push past all the complicated factors that were obstacles to her grief. With the support of the team at Hospice, she finally relented and agreed to incorporate exercise and other coping mechanisms into her everyday life. She made weekly counseling appointments and received additional support services through the youth and family program. Sara was able to focus on her goals and began working through her guilt. She began managing the challenges of taking care of her siblings, living on her own and becoming a parent figure for her family even as a teen.

Sara gained strength and put 110% effort into every intervention. She dedicated her heart to changing, growing and coming through her experience better and stronger. Through the grief counseling services, she was able to break through the “why me”, “what now” and “what if’s” that consumed her. At the young age of 17, Sara learned a variety of coping tools to completely overcome the difficulties of her grief.

Though she would say she owes her accomplishments to the team at Hospice, the staff at the youth and family program recognize that Sara did all the hard work. She is beyond a success story, she is a model we would all endeavor to be like.

Treasure Coast Hospice Youth and Family Program is supported by the Children's Services Council of St. Lucie County and can be reached at (772) 403-4521.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.