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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Teen grief topic at forum

By Pamela McLoughlin
Register Staff
— Decades ago at age 7, Jay Cimbak lost his best friend in a car accident, and to this day he feels the pain.
So when Cimbak’s son, Brian Cimbak, 17, lost three friends and fellow Jonathan Law High School schoolmates as a result of a Feb. 11 accident near the Westfield Connecticut Post mall, Jay Cimbak was there to encourage his son to share his feelings and help him understand the grieving process.
Jay Cimbak was one of a handful of parents Wednesday who attended a powerful forum on grieving and teenage children presented by Cynthia Dodd and Cathy Fisher, grief clinicians from BRIDGES, A Community Support System of Milford.
Brian Cimbak, a senior, said when he realized how the deaths affected him, he knew he needed to talk and sought comfort through his priest.
Over the past six weeks, five teenagers from Milford and Orange have lost their lives in car accidents. The pain and difficulty of dealing with that loss led parents in Milford and the Amity communities of Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge to seek answers about how to talk with their children concerning the deaths. It has also led parents and teens to seek answers on driving safety.
Milford and the Amity Regional school district are holding two events, the first of which was Wednesday’s forum, “Handling Loss and Going Forward.”
The second event, at 7 p.m. April 9 at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, will include Amity Superintendent of Schools John Brady and Milford Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky presiding over a legislative forum on teen driving.
School officials said Wednesday’s topic was sparked by phone calls from parents wanting advice on how to read and measure grief in their children.
Fisher said it can be hard to read grieving in adolescents such as the accident victims’ peers, because they tend to be moody and sullen. But grief likely intensifies those feelings, she said.
A school official asked the grief experts what can be done to help the anger many students seem to be feeling just below the surface. Fisher said it’s important to confront the anger rather than pushing it away. She said adults can help by getting the teen to open up over and over again even about the same thoughts.
Fisher said teens should know it’s OK to continue to laugh, have fun and be kids, despite the loss.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some may feel squeamish about eating it, but rabbit has a fan base that grows as cooks discover how easy they are to raise — and how good the meat tastes.

March 4, 2010 at 10:20 AM 

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