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When Dad Dies, Teen Nearly Follows


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Orange County Register reporter Sam Miller writes, I thought some of the grieving people you know in cyberspace might be interested in this story about the difficulties teens and adolescents go through when a parent dies:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

When dad dies, teen nearly follows

After Gary Tannehill died, his oldest daughter sunk into chaos. A community rose up to support her.


The Orange County Register

Sondra Tannehill was 16 and drunk.

The girl who was driving her has been drinking, too. They were both dressed up for a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," wearing pink wigs and, she says, "dressed like prostitutes to the nth degree."

They were lost in downtown Long Beach. They were being followed by a carful of strange men. They nearly got in a fight with eight girls in a 7/11 parking lot.

And instead of thinking something like "I need to make some changes in my life, pronto," she was thinking "Ohmygod, this is so much fun!"

It was four years after her dad died.

"A lot of people say they hit bottom" she says now. "I am a bottomless pit. Bottom for me would be death. I was very close."

When a young girl's parent dies, the uneasy drama of adolescence can become utter chaos. It did, anyway, for Sondra.

Read on . . .

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