Dealing With Losing a Parent

Dealing With Losing a Parent
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     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.65

     challenging words:    be-happy, spiritual, dependent, priest, stress, crashed, writing, especially, easily, album, photo, thoughts, death, loss, painful, poetry

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Dealing With Losing a Parent
By Cindy Grigg

1     Has someone close to you ever died? Even losing a pet can be very hard. If it were someone you loved, you felt a terrible loss. If it were one of your parents, it's much worse because you depend on your parents to take care of you.
2     Here's what happened to my friend Jordan. Jordan had a happy family. She had a dad, a mom, an older brother, and a younger brother. Jordan was the only girl in the family, so she felt especially close to her mom. Jordan's mom owned a home decorating store. Jordan loved to help her mom at the store. They liked the pretty decorations. They liked to smell all the candles. They liked to make up flower arrangements together.
3     One night, Jordan and her brothers stayed home with their dad while Jordan's mom went to a friend's house. Her friend was giving a baby shower for another friend. Jordan's mom kissed them all goodbye and said, "I'll see you in the morning." But when Jordan's mom was coming home that night, she fell asleep while driving. Her car ran a stop sign and crashed into a rock wall. Jordan never saw her mother alive again.
4     Of course, Jordan cried a lot. She had trouble sleeping at night. When she did sleep, she dreamed that her mom came back. She dreamed that her mom told her it was all a mistake. She just couldn't believe that her mom was gone forever. Jordan's whole world changed.
5     Jordan used to be an "A" student. She had always done all of her homework and easily learned everything at school. She played basketball and had always been a star player. Now she had a hard time doing any of those things. She felt like it was no use going to school, no use playing a basketball game. She just wanted to give up.
6     Jordan's teacher saw how unhappy Jordan was in class. She saw that Jordan no longer cared about learning things or playing basketball. Jordan's teacher talked to the school counselor. The counselor began to spend a half-hour with Jordan twice a week. Jordan could leave class and tell the counselor whatever was on her mind.
7     Jordan said that talking to the counselor helped her a lot. She said that she didn't feel that she could talk to her dad because he was missing her mom a lot, too. Jordan didn't want to say anything that would make her dad even sadder. Sometimes at night, Jordan could hear her dad crying in the bedroom he used to share with her mother. Jordan knew her dad missed her mom as much as she did. But she felt free to tell the counselor everything.
8     Before she began seeing the counselor, Jordan said that she had felt like she might explode. She had all those feelings bottled up inside her and no way to let them out. She needed to be able to talk about her feelings to someone who would just listen to what she had to say.
9     Jordan was ashamed to admit it, but she told the counselor that she even felt angry at her mom. "Mom always told everyone in the car to buckle their seat belts," Jordan explained. "Mom would never go anywhere without buckling up, too. But that night, for some reason, Mom wasn't wearing her seat belt. If she had been, she might not have died."

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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