Teenage and Adolescent Death...
It is a Parents worst nightmare (and as a Mother myself, certainly one of my biggest fears), that your child may pass before you.
Unfortunately, it happens, and it happens more frequently than you realise. Clearly the circumstances pertaining to the death vary, some Teens pass as a result of a terminal iIlness, or significant health issues, vehicle accidents, and some unfortunately by choice.
Irrespective of the circumstances leading to the death, the pain is so overwhelming, you just don't know where to begin. I understand you are dealing with immeasurable grief. You mourn the loss of his or her life, potential dreams and lost future. Your life is forever changed.
I (unfortunately) have significant experience in this area, as a Funeral Celebrant and my history in working in the fields of both grief and loss is certainly called upon. Certainly I will do everything that I can to make this impossible and horrendous situation manageable for you, and your family.
When someone you love dies at an older age, families often take comfort celebrating their life and in knowing that death is part of the natural process of living. This is not the case when dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of your own child as it makes no sense for their life to end at such a young age - so quickly and without warning. Its completely unfair. Why? Why would this happen to our precious child?
Some families have experienced their child being ill for a considerable period of time, sometimes several years, and yet are still surprised at the shock they feel when they die. There is no right or wrong way of dealing with this type (or any) death. You need to do whats right for you. Give yourself time to breathe, to process what has happened. You also need to give strong consideration at how this precious person would want to be honoured.
I have always believed that no two people are the same, so why would you want a 'one size fits all' type of funeral service? This is your goodbye, your way of honouring the life of your child. Don't ever let anyone tell you how you 'have to do this'. A good Funeral Home (and thankfully there are many in Adelaide with the most wonderful caring staff) will work closely with you on what you would like. Maybe they were really into a particular sport, and you may consider a venue where they played. Maybe they loved the outdoors, and you would prefer and outdoor service, or private immediate family only Funeral with a memorial service at a later date. Maybe they were a part of a band, who might like to play at the service. Maybe their school might offer a venue or ask to be involved. Maybe their best friends might like to be involved and read Eulogies....the choices are endless.....
Most importantly, think about the person you are entrusting this very special job with - The Funeral Celebrant. Families often get caught focusing on the Funeral Home, coffin, flowers, memorial DVD, cards, cars and everything else they deem to be really important (and it is), but leave THE most important choice of who will officiate at the service to the Funeral Homes discretion! This is your most important decision. The funeral service will play a huge part in how you begin to deal with and process your grief, and its so very important that its perfect, and everything you want, right down to the last detail.
I understand what a huge decision this is for you. If it were me, I would want to be sure too. Take your time, and if it helps, I am happy to chat with you, no obligation - before you make your decision.
At the end of the day, there is little anyone can say or do that will lessen the pain you are feeling right now, but if you can say that you have done everything you can, from your heart, to honour your child's life, how can that be wrong?
'Losing a child is like losing your soul. You may put on a front for the world but, inside, you are dying.'