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The death of a parent is one of the most traumatic events that can occur during adolescence.

Although teens may not fully understand the impact of the loss, they grieve – often intensely and in isolation! And, teens grieve differently than adults, so they need different forms of support. With time and caring support, teens will gain new understanding about their loss at each developmental milestone. Rick’s Place helps families offer such support.

Although the topic of death is gloomy and sad, Rick’s Place is not! Teen groups typically start with a check in about how things are in the present moment. Groups include activities and discussion related to some aspect of their grief experience. Facilitators use creative approaches including art, music, play and poetry to encourage grief expression, memory sharing, feelings exploration, and self-care. Verbal sharing is part of our peer groups; however, it is always optional, and we never insist that anyone speak.

Participants share memories about their special person who died, make commemorative art, and make friends with others who understand their experience. The group gatherings help youth recall the person who died, talk about their feelings, and remember that, even though the person’s body has died, their relationship with the loved one has not. Above all, Rick’s Place is a safe, compassionate environment for all those affected by the death of a close family member.

“My daughter has gained so much. She understands she is not alone…that there are other kids who have lost a loved one.”

“I liked the group because I got to share my memories and hear each other.”

“At Rick’s Place they support you. You can tell the truth without being embarrassed.”

“I like Rick’s Place. I think it was a good idea for us to come here. They support your opinion, and you can tell the truth without being embarrassed.”

“I think it was a good idea for us to come here.”