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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: grief

Dec 23

The Real Hunger Games: Finding Peace in the Day to Day

Posted By iamincontrol | December 23, 2014

The Hunger Games came out last week and like most of you, I had to get my eyes on that silver screen for the midnight premiere. I had to see part one of the ending of the saga of the Mockingjay. The movie, of course, did not disappoint. Full of action, love, and twists the movie is a must see during this holiday season.

There were parts in the movie that made me think. I know there have been certain times in my life, when friendships and relationships shift and change. Sometimes, a friendship, that you thought you couldn’t live without, takes a nosedive and blows up right in your face.  It’s a fact of life that things will change and we have a choice to fight that change or let it naturally ride its course.

Within the Mockingjay Part 1, we hear Katniss say “I never wanted any of this. I just wanted to protect my sister and keep Peeta alive.” I know I have said that same thing about a friendship or relationship that has been in shambles.  President Snow says “The things we love the most, they destroy us” I know when I love someone so much and our relationship is on the rocks; it’s like I rent free space in my mind to this hostel tenant. It’s like overthinking will help restore that friendship. And one of the worst feelings is when you love someone more than they love you. In the case of Katniss, on the nights before the Hunger Games, she let her sister, Petta’s love, and Gale’s love consume her to a point where she was willing to stand up to the capital or eat poisonous berries to save those relationships.  

Much like Katniss, she allowed for others to be the source of her peace. And in return, the people found Katniss to be the source of their peace. Their Mockingjay. And while this allowed for the revolution to occur, it made Katniss lose everything. Getting thrown into the hunger games twice, love struggles with Gale, etc. You should NEVER allow someone else be the source of your peace. You are in peace when you think your friends are not mad at you. You are in peace when you get ten likes on your Instagram photo.  You are at peace when that special someone Kiks you back. That form of peace is worthless and will always disappoint. So shake off that type of peace and learn to find peace in other things. I know I find peace when I connect to my family, multiple different friends, go to the gym on a daily basis, and spend time doing “me” tasks (cooking, reading, watching my favorite TV show). So find your peace methods, because it’s a lasting peace.


Jul 17

A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted By iamincontrol | July 17, 2014

Girl and dog
By Jenny

A dog is a girl’s best friend. We adopted Otis when I was 9 years old. I remember like it was yesterday. He was a small, baby pug. When I got him, he was 4 pounds and 6 weeks old (way too early to be away from his mother) and needed a lot of attention.

I did anything and everything for Otis, including rocking him to sleep at night and taking him for walks in a stroller. He was a spoiled but bad dog. Otis would chew all the furniture, steal your socks, and loved eating pig ears even though he would make a mess all over the house. Even though he was naughty, Otis was like my best friend. He was there when I had no one else to talk to. He also was the best listener, as I did not know who else to turn to through my awkward preteen years.

Otis grew up to be a big boy weighing almost 30 pounds. However, this turned out to be a problem and he developed an intestine dysfunction. One day he needed emergency surgery, and he did not make it out of surgery.

That day, I thought the world was over. For 7 years, I had always had Otis. Now I didn’t. Dogs are great best friends. However, just like humans, they pass with time. Through this I learned to cherish the time you have with your best friends, as you never know when your last time to tell them you love them may be.

I thought this video described my life with Otis perfectly. He was always there just like Maddie in the video.

May 27

The Cost of Fitting In

Posted By iamincontrol | May 27, 2014

By Emily

When I was in high school, I didn’t appreciate all of the awesome people around me that looked out and cared for me. I was very selfish, and all I cared about was trying to fit in.

While trying to fit in with the group of kids I thought was cool, I lost sight of the people who cared about me, including my family. I found myself lying to try and fit in. I started using new substances I never thought I would. But it landed me a new boyfriend, and that was all that mattered to me at the time. I started to do things I could never have imagined myself doing: sneaking out, smoking weed, drinking, etc. I grew further and further apart from the few close friends I did have, and most importantly, my family.

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Dec 31

You’re Never Ready

Posted By iamincontrol | December 31, 2013

You're never ready
By Taylar

The Loss

You’re never ready to lose someone. For me, it was heartbreaking. I found out my grandfather had completed suicide three days after my baby sister was born. Before my mom’s marriage when I was six, my grandfathers were my only father figures; they were my role models, my best friends. On a Wednesday in 2003, I learned one of my best friends had left my life and was never coming back.

Dealing with Loss

The pain of that loss was unbearable. I went through so many different stages of dealing with my grief. At first, all I could do was cry. I remember a few weeks after his funeral I kept thinking, “No, he’s not really gone. He’s going to knock on the door tomorrow and be able to hug me again.” I was wrong. Years afterward, I put a lot of blame on myself, as many survivors of suicide do. I thought if I had just said, “I love you,” one more time that maybe it would have been enough to make him feel better and want to stay. Eventually I learned there really was nothing I could have done. In recent years I learned more of the details of what was going on that day and what led to his decision to end his life. That information brought a lot of anger to the surface. The only way I dealt with all those feelings I had was to talk about them. I talked about them out loud to myself when I was alone, I wrote about them, I visited my grandfather’s grave and talked to him; I did anything to get the troubling thoughts out of my head.

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Nov 21

A Wound that Never Heals

Posted By iamincontrol | November 21, 2013

A wound that never heals
By Erin

I would like to think that up till 7th grade that I led a “normal” life. I had a mother, father, and brother, and we made our way of life work. We didn’t always get along or see eye to eye, but we were a family. Experiencing the death of my father has forever changed me as a person. If you have experienced the loss of a parent, pet, sibling, best friend, acquaintance, grandparent, or anyone/anything that meant something to you, it’s easy for you to understand that getting “over it” is impossible.

I remember the day to the very last detail. It was a beautiful summer day and my mother, brother, and I had just finished supper. The phone started to ring, so I ran to answer it. The person on the other line asked for Amy (my mom). I was a snoopy little kid, so I stayed on the line. Then I heard the words, “Steve has just been in an accident and was transported by helicopter, and we’re unable to disclose his condition right now.” My heart felt like it had moved all the way down to my stomach and been torn to shreds. The drive to Waterloo felt like it took an eternity, and nothing was said the whole way down.

When we got to the hospital, I realized just how bad my father’s condition was. It was then that I started to let the reality of letting my father go sink in.

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Sep 19

Inspiration after Loss

Posted By iamincontrol | September 19, 2013

By Mary
State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC)

Watching cancer take the life of my friend was one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced. When I entered middle school, I met a boy named Dylan. He was extremely intelligent and naturally a good leader. He was active and successful in so many athletic, musical, and academic opportunities. Soon I learned he had cancer and that his leg was amputated in fifth grade. This did not stop him from doing everything in life that he loved. During his time at school he always had a positive attitude, never complained, and always turned in exceptional work. The most amazing thing about Dylan was that he was able to do what most students couldn’t even do while still fighting a life threatening disease. I worked at our school store with Dylan and on also on our leadership team. My best memory with him was my eighth grade year when we were on the same mock trial team that made it to the state competition.

After eighth grade we went to separate high schools, and I didn’t have as much contact with him. In the meantime, I was admitted to the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council and gained the position of service chair. When I was looking for service projects for our council, I automatically thought of Dylan and proposed the idea of sewing bandannas for youth cancer patients. By November I heard his condition had gotten worse, so I made the first Iowa Hawkeye bandanna for him and sent it in the mail as fast as I could with a note explaining how he inspired me. I received the news the next day, November 26th, that he passed away.

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Aug 22

An Unexpected Loss

Posted By iamincontrol | August 22, 2013

By Emily

About a year and a half ago I had a friend and classmate commit suicide. His name was Calvin. He was only 19 years old and was attending college. He was such a talented young man. He was an amazing violin player and had a very strong passion for music. He was honestly the most kind/non-judgmental person that I’ve ever known. He was very unique and had so much going for him in life. He was voted most likely to change society during our senior year.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. He was someone who I never expected would take his own life. I never saw him mad, sad or down a day in my life. He always was extremely positive and happy. This really has taught me that you never know what someone is going through. Anyone can put on a “mask” in front of other people. I always question what I could have done to help him. I know this isn’t something I can blame myself for because it wasn’t my fault, but what if I would’ve been a little kinder to him? What if I would’ve reached out to him and showed him I cared about him and what was going on in his life?

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May 30

Coping with Grief

Posted By iamincontrol | May 30, 2013

Sad teen girl
By Anonymous

They say time heals everything, but what they don’t say is how much time. How long does it take to get over losing a loved one? Or is it all a myth and in fact, time doesn’t heal but actually hurts?

I lost my pride and joy, my grandma, on September 6th, 2012. When I received the news I screamed. I cried out a scream so powerful I think an actual part of my soul departed with it. I mentally prepared myself for years that someday her day would come, but no one can ever prepare him or herself for losing someone that meant so much.

The hardest thing I have had to come to terms with was that I was with her the day before her passing. We talked, laughed, she bragged about me to the nurses, and then the next day she was gone. In a matter of twenty-four hours my life changed. I went from the happiest girl in the world with everything at her fingertips to a girl I didn’t even know. I heaved and cried to the point where it was a miracle I could still stand. I laid in her bed and cuddled in her sheets where I had just slept the night before and breathed in our memories.

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