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 2023-24 Youth Advisory Board is currently closed.
By breaking the silence on grief, we create a kinder and more caring society where people don’t have to suffer alone.
— Amber, age 15
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 13
Talking about my grief has made me realize just how supported and safe I am. If I kept these emotions to myself then I might not be standing here.
— Annika, age 15
A lot of kids experience grief, and it could help a lot if they just let all the anger and emotions out and have a safe place to talk.
— Aryn, age 14
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 16
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 16
Being able to talk about grief will make people be much more prepared when they feel it and will help grieving people feel more comfortable.
— Erin, age 16
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 18
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 16
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 15
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 17
Talking about grief for the first time may make you very sad or depressed but eventually you will break through and know how to handle it.
— Javier, age 13
You feel better about yourself when you talk about your grief. It makes you a stronger person!
— Kahala, age 12
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 15
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 12
As a society many people bottle up their emotions instead of expressing them. If people don’t express their emotions they will only get worse.
— Michael, age 15
So many people bottle their grief inside and never deal with it, and that’s not good for your mental health.
— Olivia, 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 17
It’s important that people in our society get better at talking about grief because the way someone responds to a person experiencing grief can affect that person to a great extent.
— Sarafina, age 15
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 16