The repercussions from this sad event were understandably massive.
Throughout my life I have been saddened on a number of occasions, to bear witness to the loss of a young person. Every one of those deaths, whatever caused them, is a death too many; a life curtailed, a future lost, and the start of a legacy of grief, misery, confusion and pain for those left behind.
Following the recent tragic death of a teenager from my son’s school I have been pondering the importance of the messages that we give to our young people especially in relation to dealing with our emotions.
It is always particularly hard to answer the ‘Why?’ questions. Not just the inevitable ‘Why did this happen?’ question – which is hard enough when there has been a loss - but, for those young people rocked by the tragedy, there are also the ‘Why do I feel so bad/sad/anxious?’ questions closely followed by “What can I do about it?” and “How do I cope?”
Answering ‘I don’t know’ to those latter questions simply isn’t good enough and that is why I and a group of other parents are putting together a Teen Summit.
My partners in this venture are:
Anna Franklin - a qualified chiropractor with a special interest in pain control and stress management through exercise, and a qualified hypnotherapist and director of Bransgore Chiropractic
Mandy Preece - a communications coach, soul midwife (holistic end of life companion), a motivational speaker, an ambassador for Macmillan Caring Locally and director of Being Rock. www.beingrock.org
Rob Mangles and Jen Pettett - both inspirational fitness and personal training coaches and joint directors of The Gym Tin. www.thegymtin.com
We aren’t grief counsellors but we do have a significant combined professional interest in the well-being of the next generation, as well as simply being parents who are attempting to make the world a better place for our children. Our aims are to try to explain where our emotions come from, why they are sometimes very complicated and hard to express. We want to encourage the teens who attend our summit to realise that they are not alone; that we all struggle with life sometimes and that it’s OK to not always know the answers to problems.
We will be exploring some of the things we can all do to look after ourselves and to find ways of being positive and kind to both ourselves and others. We want to encourage our teen delegates to look after their emotional and physical health and wellbeing. We hope to help these young people equip themselves with a toolkit of things that they can use to more effectively control and manage their feelings and their health as they head off into their future lives.
We can’t change the world but we can make a stand within our local community; shoulder to shoulder with other local parents we can try to make a difference.
Wish us luck!
I’ll let you know how we get on, so watch this space...