What is it about?

In this study, more than half of the cancer-bereaved teenagers did not find a way to grieve that felt okay during the first 6 months after the death of their parent. That was found to be related to unresolved grief 6–9 years after the loss. Being able to have a last conversation with the dying parent and good family cohesion are factors that may help to prevent long-term unresolved grief.

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Why is it important?

Our findins show that instead of imposing our own expectations on how teenager’s grief should or should not be dealt with, we should rather try to understand how the young person experiences their own grief reactions and if they are okay with that or not. To be able to adjust to life after loss, both teenagers and their parents may benefit from knowledge of what to expect and the variety of grief reactions.


Supporting families that are facing the death of a parent and enabling them to have good cohesion after the loss of a parent might help the teenagers to work through their grief. It is also important to give the teenagers the opportunity to have the last conversation with the dying parent.

Dröfn Birgisdóttir
Lunds Universitet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Acute and long-term grief reactions and experiences in parentally cancer-bereaved teenagers, BMC Palliative Care, May 2021, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s12904-021-00758-7.
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