As much as The Children’s Room has supported all our TCR families closely during this pause in programming, we have found our thoughts continuously pulled back to our teens and how this unusual COVID-19 time might be impacting them. The teens who are brought towards TCR are no strangers to the layers of losses that come with being their age and experiencing the death of a parent or sibling. While they have keen insights about how their lives have been impacted, we suspect that many are encountering new emotions and situations that even they could not have imagined.

Grieving teens often find outlets, build a sense of belonging, and form identities through their social communities. For nearly the past two months, however, they have found themselves separated from friends, teachers, coaches, and others who might have been their confidants and supports. With sports teams, school communities, after-school activities, jobs, and even time spent relaxing with friends taken away for the foreseeable future, it is likely that they are feeling the isolation of this time magnified. A number of teens have also needed to take on additional responsibilities during this time, further adding to the stressors that they are managing.

Many teens attending TCR’s groups can identify a whole list of future milestones that will be altered by not having the person who died there to witness and share in them. For our seniors graduating in 2020, some of these same significant moments – which were already anticipated to bring reminders of past loss – will now be intertwined with a new type of grief. In addition to the person who died not being there to take pre-prom photos, cheer on their senior sports awards ceremony, or see their graduation, they also have these hard-earned moments erased completely, without even their friends or surviving family members able to share in the celebrations.

TCR has recognized how incredibly unique and difficult this time is for our teens, and so we’re offering an opportunity for some creativity, a little humor, and sense of connection! We are sending our teens a series of fun, unique activities to capture and share what their lives are like these days. Photos, song lyrics, simple sketches, and more are being compiled as part of a Virtual TCR Teen Time Capsule!