His father died in an auto accident…

Story of Hope

His father died in an auto accident. He was too young, a teenager, to lose a parent. A short time later, he began having serious problems in school. His teachers said he couldn’t focus, he wouldn’t participate, and he became more and more withdrawn. After one of our presentations in his health class, he was persuaded to try grief counseling.

In our teen group, he just listened at first. He heard other young people describe their experiences of loss. Each week, he opened up a little more, sharing his feelings with peers who understood. Then another tragedy struck. The boy’s mother was overwhelmed with her own grief, and one night at home, with her son present, she stabbed herself with a carving knife. He called 911. Then he called our 24-hour crisis line. One of our counselors talked with him until the paramedics arrived, and another counselor called his aunt to have her join him at the hospital.

Fortunately, his mother survived her suicide attempt. We helped her son make arrangements to stay with relatives until she was discharged from the hospital. We also contacted Child Protective Services so they could ensure that his mom was able to take care of him before reuniting them. In addition, through our database, we found local, low-cost therapists for both son and mother.

Upon discharge, the mother joined one of our adult grief groups. Shortly after she finished, she was offered a new job. Meanwhile, her son stayed in contact with several group members after his support group ended. He also joined a soccer league, and his school performance began improving.

For months afterward, the boy and his mother called our crisis lines periodically. Our counselors provided emotional support to help them get through this difficult period of their lives.