Death at a Young Age

Updated on October 25, 2006
E.M. asks from Orlando, FL
16 answers

As everyone must know by now, about the stabbing death the occurred yesterday of the 15 year boy Michael Nieves. Well, my son seems to be taking this hard. Last night he just locked himself in his room and went to bed very early. His dad went to talk to him but he just wanted to by alone. He soes not socialize much but he say this kid was a very nice ,cooool kid that he can't believe it. He just kept saying how he was in class that early morning with him and all was fine. He is like in a trance.I don't know what to do. He is 17 and never had a friend or child that he knews die, especially like he did. I want to be there but he wants to be left alone. I never had to deal with anything like this so I am not sure if this is good. He went to school but knowing him he won't say a word, he is a very quite person. He keeps everything inside. Any suggestion welcomed.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all. Well, I and my husband decide to take our son out for dinner just the three of us. While we waited i start asking him how was school today, at first he said ok but when my husband left he told me he was up til 4am crying all night and he could not believe michael is dead. We talked as we ate and he seemed to want to get it out. he told us that he cried all morning and when he walked in his 3rd period class which was that class they had together he bursted out cring. he said he could not help it. they had a prayer vigil in the am and at lunchtime. the day was dedicated to him. We actually told alot and i started to cry seeing how it had affected him. we talked about how life is precious. he says he has alot to accomplish and hopes that he is given the chance. He kept saying he wishes the day was a play so you can retake and change it. All this because of a look and a girl.... He says in school he keeps to himself.
Noel

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K.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hello. The best thing that I can say to you is let him deal with it like he wants. As people, we all handle death in different ways. Some people deal with it “better” (for a lack of words) then others do. When I was 12, my step-father died and I locked myself in the bathroom too. My family was very worried, but being alone and thinking about him was easier for me. Eventually, I opened up to them, but it took awhile. Throughout my life I have always dealt with things more by myself. Maybe your son is the same way. Just respect his wishes and tell him everyday that when and if he is ready to talk about anything, just to let you know no matter when it is. I hope that helps.

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M.

answers from Orlando on

Hello E.,
I have worked in a school district and when a tragedy like this occurs the school district has the guidance counselors talk to the students. They usually make an announcement in the morning telling the students any tume during the day if they feel they need to talk to someone just stop in to to see a counselor and sometimes the school psychologist is available. They have training in this and should know the right words to help the students feel alittle bit better. If your not such if your son's school is offering this CALL the school, and explain to them how your son is acting. I hope this information helps you! I feel the same as you, when my children are sad I feel sad and need to help them.
Take Care, M.

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J.H.

answers from Orlando on

i know you must be a little scared right now and worried for your son, however the best thing you and your family can do for him is to talk, talk, talk. even if he seems to not respond right away make sure the lines of communication are open and that he can talk to you about anything. i am wondering if maybe something else is bothering him. maybe he himself feels scared of some of the boys at school? just a thought. again, the best thing you can do for him is to talk about it. many kids go through something tramatic whether directly or indirectly. he may just need some time to process what happened.

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E.C.

answers from Naples on

Dear E.,(beautiful name)

I wanted to write to you b/c when I was 16 almost 17 I had a boyfriend named Corey. We dated for about a year or so and then decided to just be friends, which was an easy decision b/c we weren't that serious if you know what I mean. We learned a lot from one another and valued eachother's friendship. A few weeks went by before we spoke again and we had made plans to meet up soon. That coming weekend my parents and a couple of friends of mine went to see the group 'Kansas' that was about an hour out of our hometown. We had a great time and exhausted from the long day of festivities just wanted to get home and rest. When we returned home there were three of my girlfriends waiting outside our house in the dark. Happy to see them I was wondering what they all were doing. My bestfriend Carrie says she needs to tell me something and we start to walk up the driveway as she breaks the news. "E., Corey died today. He was killed in a car accident" Without thinking I fell to my knees. We attended the funeral and supported his family in this tragic time. Weeks went on and without me realizing my actions I was staying home, alone in my room, with the door shut. I was in mourning. My mother let me be for a little while. She would let me know when dinner was ready and thats about it. Friends would call and I just didn't want to go out. Eventually my mother opened my door came in my room and said "E. I am getting worried this has to stop or I am going to find you professional help." That hit me like a ton of bricks. Me? Talk to a psychiatrist? No way was I going to do that. I thought about what my mother had said as blunt as it was and did something about it. I had to. I started slowly, didn't date anyone for a long while and eventually got over it. I mean you are never completely over it. But time is what healed me to not obsess about it.
Boys are different. They are harder to reach than girls. If nothing changes after a little time for him to think things through, than I would probably take him out of town on a small trip. Have some fun, or just a different scenery helps. Out of site out of mind, or he may even open up about it outside of his comfort zone. I hope that helps. You can even tell him my story and that he is not alone in his feelings, and a lot of teenagers experience something like this, and things always get better. Teenagers always dwell. I remember those times well.

Sincerely,

E.

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K.W.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi E.,

I live in Deltona and we have experienced two 14-year-olds passing away in one month's time. The guidance counselors at our school have been busy talking to kids who are grieving. If your son will not talk to you then you may want to contact his guidance counselor at the school. He may feel more comfortable talking to someone who can more directly relate to the experience being from the school community. The guidance counselor will call him out of class and listen and hopefully be able to help. You should not just think that it will pass with time because even though it may, it may not. Even if he doesn't 'talk' to the counselor he or she may get through to him with what they say. Things like this make kids see that they are not immune to tragedy but life HAS to go on.

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M.

answers from Orlando on

E.,
I am a little late on the response but hope you still read. I have found that in a time of greiving we all need the grace of the Lord God Almighty. Now is a perfect time for your 17 year old soon to see God has a plan and time is so valuable. Do not live here on earth wasting what God has given. We are all on borrowed time and God alone is in charge of that time. What we do with it, however is up to us. (Free will). Your son could very well be the one who grows from this experience to make good from it. Nothing bad will happen that God does not turn around and use for "his" greater good.
Talk to him about the story in the bible. King Saul had ordered for David to be killed and from a friendship the kings son saved David. We all know who David came to be. Out of the bad something awesome came to be God's favor.
A friend has passed away but being that he was a child of God may he be residing in the glory of heaven and looking down upon what once was.
Bless you and your family and I pray for the favor of the Lord to help your son heal.

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C.

answers from Lakeland on

Therapy. Start therapy. Call your EAP if your company has one. He can have someone else to talk to if he doesn't want to talk to his parents.

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M.T.

answers from Naples on

I am really late at responding to this. I am 29 but when I was in high school 2 years in a row we had deaths in our class it was hard 2 deal with they where both very close to me and when I turned 23 my best friend died. It takes so long to heal from these and some times it hurts so bad. I would tell him it is ok to cry and to miss the person but they are in a better place. and missing the person is totaly normal. I am really sorry to hear this and your son is in my prayers

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C.S.

answers from Orlando on

I am so sorry for what your family is feeling now. When I was in Middle School a very close friend (like a brother to me) was killed by a drunk driver. Jacob was VERY popular with both Middle and High School kids in my town. I attended a different school then he did the year he was killed so grief counceling was not available at my school, however I went to his school (my old school) and went to the grief counceling. It helped but it took some time. Like everyone else has said be sure to leave the lines of communication up between you and your husband and your son. If he is close to his sisters maybe they can try to reach out to him. Only you know your son well enough to know when he may be in trouble, just keep an eye on him. I'm sure it will pass. If he has any friends invite them and their parents over for dinner and leave the boys in a room to paly video games, maybe after awhile together they will start to feel normal again. While they hang out you and the other parents can discuss your feelings as well.

Good luck with everything. What a horrible thing to happen at such a yound age.

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K.S.

answers from Melbourne on

Hi, E, My name is Kristy. Last year my daughter lost a close classmate suddenly. I let her have some of her friends over and they made a banner to put in the lunch room for everyone to sign. Then they all bought stuff animals and put them in her chair and they let it stay empty the rest of the year in her honor. Then they went to calling hours,not the furnal,and took the banner. He may need time, but just reasure him you are there to talk. Sometimes things like this will bring up other fears at least it did with the group of girls last year. Let his guidence councelor know also. another thing I did is I took my daughter to the girls gave when nobody else was there and we put flowers there for her. Make some time for him to be just with you, take him to the beach to sit and listen to the waves and talk or to a park ...hope this helps

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M.P.

answers from Orlando on

pray with your boy at night right before bed explain to him why god permitted this to happend and the lessons that have to do with our free will in this life/world it hurts us very bad in this when some one dies but god calls us to do a mission and when the mission is completed he calls us to him. we be long to him no one else we have free will to make choices that he does not like but we all have to come to judgment day for all we have done good or bad.
hope this helps

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N.N.

answers from Fort Myers on

I would like you to know that time really does heal all, and though kids are strong, he will need to talk to someone, anyone maybe not you. My daughter was in First grade and she had a boy in her class killed by his monther, and three days later her best friend was killed in a car accident. She is still affected by this, but comfortable talking about it. Of course shes much smaller than your son, but the guidance counselor gaver her a "huggie" a small stuffed animal to hug whenever she missed her best friend. And when our huse was built, we planted two trees in thier memories. She often goes and sas hi to the trees, like their her friends their with her there. I think your son should do something meaningful, start a charity for the family. Start a program to try to stop violence. But mostly just be there for him, wether he wants to keep talking about it or not. Good luck and God Bless!

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N.C.

answers from Orlando on

I hadn't watched the news in a few days and hadn't heard about the stabbing. I am so sorry to hear that your son is going through a hard time. When I was in 10th grade I lost a friend of mine in a car accident... in fact throughout high school we lost several kids that I knew to accidents. It may be different as the boy was murdered, but I was very torn apart by this incident. I think at this age we think we are sort of invincible... we don't see ourselves dying, life is usually very good for most of us. What really helped me was being able to talk to other friends that knew her and being able to attend her funeral where I had a chance to speak about her as they opened the floor to friends and family. The toughest part for me was that this girl and I had previously been best friends in middle school and she had left our school and just a while before the accident had returned... I remember that I saw her a few days before the accident, walking to the bus, and I was going to approach her to catch up but put it off until "next time" The only thing that brought me to peace with the fact that I missed that chance to talk to her was that I was able to speak at her funeral to let her, and everyone know just how much I loved her. So you never know, there may be some specific reason it is hitting him so hard, or just the harsh reality of this scary world.
My school brought in specialists to talk to kids who were having a hard time and they were lenient with kids leaving class to mourn or get counseling. I never did go to a counselor or even talk much about it to my parents (we weren't that open that I felt I could really express myself yet). My only recommendation is just watch him and maybe talk to his teachers to see how he's doing in class but don't prod too much if he doesn't want to talk....everyone needs time to mourn but also let him know you care and that if he wants to talk about it, you are there for him.

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P.B.

answers from Orlando on

Noelia: What your son is going in this moment is grief, which the best cure for this is let him cry it will come a moment that he automatically will talk to you about his feeling. I asume is the first time he have seen death so close. Youngster always think that death is for old people, but, when they see it so close they start to comprehense that life is very important and that we never know when is going to hit. When he feel a little better explain him about how important is life and let him know that God have purposes that we human dont understand but that his friend is in a better place call heaven. If you go to a church let the youth pastor talk to him or your clergymen. They will explain why sometime good people have to died. I will keep you and your son in my prayer for comfort. I wish I can do more but remeber The Lord is my shepard psalm 23 and with him I will not fear no evil. Love P.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi E.,
If the school is offering grief counseling you should see that your son attends. (Most schools offer grief counseling when there is death). Or perhaps a private counselor. I'm sure he's in shock and dealing with this as best as he can. It's hard for anyone to deal with death let
alone a child. Let him grieve but keep the lines of communication open.

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A.D.

answers from Fort Myers on

E.,

I am terribly sorry for your son's pain, and yours as well. I know watching your child hurt is very difficult to handle. It is still very soon after the death of this young boy, your son may just be trying to absorb it all in, and accept it. Be sure to let him know that you and your husband are there for him when he is ready to talk about it. It's very important that he knows he can come to you when he is ready. I wouldnt worry at this point, it sounds like normal behavior to me considering what has happened. If he continues to be this way, I would consider digging deeper to see if there is something else going on inside him, as another comment mentioned. Possibly, being afraid of what has happened. Good luck to you and your family. God Bless.

Amanda

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