Our YAB (Youth Advisory Board) is made up of pre-teens and teens who attended Experience Camps and care deeply about helping the public understand how to better support grieving children. We give our YAB a mission each month, in which they share insights about grief and reflections from their own journey. We also use their insights and ideas to inform our programming, initiatives, and campaigns. Who better to hear from when it comes to childhood grief than young people themselves? Our application period for the 2022-23 Youth Advisory Board is currently closed.
Grief is not a thing that only lasts months or a year after your person has died. It is a lifelong feeling that does fade overtime but will still lie dormant in you until something triggers it.
— Kennedy, age 14
Being able to talk to someone about your grief is how you start the process of getting better. Doing so is essential in both the grieving process and also self-care.
— Fox, age 16
We have to talk about grief so we can truly cope and work through our emotions. Grief is painful and messy but there’s value in being able to talk through that mess.
— Tina, age 14
If people don’t open up about grief then they can explode and it can make their life miserable. I want people to enjoy life to the fullest, and I think talking about grief will really help.
— George, age 12
When my father died I was completely lost. Experience Camps is a place where I don’t always have to pretend it’s all ok. I don’t have to wipe away my tears.
— Avner, age 14
When my family and I were faced with grief I began to realize that not only was it difficult to deal with it but, there were not a lot of positive resources and places I could turn to help me.
— Jaylen, age 12
All the horrible constructs we have in our head about grief are made in our heads. In reality, grief is a perfectly normal and unavoidable aspect of life that never goes away.
— Yehuda, age 16
It’s hard to find people that have gone through the same grief as us. I am always willing to share my grief story first to make others feel comfortable.
— Janiyah, age 16
Even though you may think you’re being strong by bottling up your emotions, it’s actually very unhealthy, and the strongest thing to do is to talk about your grief.
— Ann, age 12
Grief is not talked about in our society without awkwardness, and it is difficult for those who haven’t lost someone to fully understand what grief feels like.
— Gabi, age 15
We should be able to talk about death/grief the same way we talk about other major events in life. It is important that everyone feels seen and heard along their grief journey.
— Greyson, age 14
I want to help people realize that grief is more than a feeling. It’s an experience that takes your whole life to go through. I want people to know that they’re not alone.
— Bobbie, age 14
People can get depressed when they hide their emotions from others. When people talk about their emotions, it can give a feeling of relaxation.
— Josh, age 13
We all deserve to have someone to lean on or just someone to just be there for us. We should not try to hide our grief, we should be able to express it.
— Joy, age 15
If more people learned and were more equipped to lend a helping hand to someone grieving, I think a lot more people would feel less alone.
— Kristiana, age 16
Losing someone is difficult, and it makes us feel alone. If society could be better about how to respond to us, we would not feel so alone.
— Lola, age 11
When something is talked about, it’s able to be more understood. Grief never ends; the emotions just change.
— Noah, age 15
So many people bottle there grief inside and never deal with it, and that’s not good for your mental health.
— Olivia, age 15
Sharing about your grief, your loss, and story is important; it is healthy and, personally, it has helped lift a weight off my shoulders.
— Ollie, age 16
Talking about grief is important for many reasons. I think the most important one is that grieving is natural, and so hard to do it alone.
— Quinn, age 16
It is extremely important for people in society, young and old, to talk about their grief, because it brings others together.
— Viriginia, age 17