“When I walked into the hospital room I knew something was wrong,” said Senior Cody Otto. “I saw my friends and family crying, and that’s when it finally hit me that I had just lost my dad. I couldn’t believe it at first.”
Otto is a part of the one in seven Americans that lose a parent or sibling before the age of 20.
“After my dad died I was the only guy in the house,” said Otto. “It’s hard when you’re only 10 years old and you have to grow up without a father, but I try to visit his grave site as much as I can and keep him in my mind.”
Otto isn’t the only teenager that regularly thinks about the loved one that he has lost. 69 percent of teenagers that have lost a loved one still think about their lost loved one regularly. 73 percent also say that their life would have been better if their loved one was still around.
“I think my life would be better if my dad was still around,” said Freshman Caitlin Black. “After I lost him to cancer two years ago, I’ve become more distant from the rest of my family, and I’ve had to learn some things and kind of grieve on my own.”
The grieving process has 5 stages: Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process.
“My dad was a big influence in my life,” said Senior Justin Lang, who lost his dad a year and half ago. “I go to his grave about once a week as part of the grieving process. It’s a ballin’ grave stone, by far the best I have ever seen. It’s perfect for him.”
45 percent of Americans, who lost a parent at a young age, agreed that the loss had a very negative impact on their families finances.
“When my dad died 4 years ago, I wasn’t sure how we were going to pay for some things,” said Senior Colm Macnab. “It became a big question how we were going to pay for gas, food, and the house until the legal proceedings went through.”
Teenagers cope with loses in a numerous amount of ways.
“My mom died when i was thirteen,” said junior Trey Wilson. “I tried to tough it out and not think about it. I didn’t even cry on the way home from the hospital.”
76 percent of teenagers who have lost a loved one just want to be treated the same, but that rarely ever happens.
“After one of my good friends Tyler [Woods] died last year, I just wanted people to treat me the same,” said junior Kat LaCroix. “I felt like people went out of their way to socialize with me. They kept expecting me to be more emotional in front of them.”
Tyler had just moved to Buffalo less than a year ago before she passed away last September.
“I will always remember her smile,” said LaCroix. “And the fact that she could lighten any mood, and turn a good mood into an even better one.”
Tyler wasn’t the only student lost last year. A Senior at the time, Jon Kramnic, was also taken away when his car collided with a truck last November, which was driven by a drunk driver.
“Jonny and I dated for 7 months,” said junior Amanda Krcma. “Losing Jon impacted a lot of people. It brought us all together, including my family who supported me. My brother Gabe has been there for me every step of the way, even to this day.”
But family hasn’t been the only support Krcma has received. Her friends have also played a big role in helping her through the tough times.
“They often told me things to try and help me through it,” said Krcma. “But the only one that really stuck, was only the good die young.”
By: Morgan Lubben & Tyler Burg