Counselor: There is more than one way to grieve

Extra support will be available on campus this week


Megaphone file photo

Counselor Mrs. Beth Brandes participated in a presser with the newspaper staff during E period on May 4.

Ellie Moores, Reporter

As the Cathedral family continues to mourn the loss of junior Lendon Byram, a counselor offered guidance on navigating grief during this difficult time. 

Byram and his date died in a car crash on May 1 on their way to the Hamilton Heights prom.

School counselor Mrs. Beth Brandes explained that grief is not a one-size-fits-all process. “This topic is obviously different for all individuals and all ages and unique to each individual and each age group. There is no right way to grieve,” Brandes said. 

Specifically, Brandes highlighted the contrast between grieving as an adult and as a teenager. “The difference in grief between a teenager or youth versus an adult is going to be the processing. An adult being older and also having, in most cases, more life experiences, they are going to process things differently than a teenager and usually more quickly,” Brandes explained. 

It is important for all students to check in with themselves as they continue the grieving process. While it is always vital to take care of yourself, Brandes said that it is even more important to do so after a tragic event. Brandes explains that it is crucial to get enough sleep and eat well. Additionally, she said that it is important to listen to your body and what it needs. 

Brandes also said to be cognizant of how your friends are doing. The best course of action is to be direct and ask them how they are feeling. Brandes explains that if you are worried about someone, it is OK to get them help from an adult. “It’s not going behind their back. It’s not being a bad friend. In fact, it’s being a good friend because you are looking out for them” Brandes said. 

The counselors are aware that some students may be hesitant to reach out to them for help. Brandes wants students to know that meeting with the counselors is “really meant to be simply a conversation or dialogue. There is nothing a student has to say in particular,” she said. Furthermore, Brandes said, “Truly it’s about meeting the individual where he or she is.” 

The counseling office and a support group that is taking place through Community Health Network will be available to students and staff during the week of May 4 and perhaps beyond. 

Brandes shared her memories of Lendon from her time working with him as his school counselor. “It was really his demeanor that struck me,” Brandes said. She continued, describing him as “a quiet leader. You knew he knew what he wanted. (I) enjoyed both his seriousness and his good humor.”