The first of two funerals for two Western New York teens who died under tragic circumstances last weekend took place today, capping an emotional week here.
Family and friends of 14-year-old James Metz said their farewells during a service Friday morning at Our Lady of Pompeii in Lancaster. The Lancaster High School freshman died in a small plane crash last Saturday that also killed the pilot, 78-year-old Anthony Mercurio. Mercurio will be laid to rest tomorrow. Lancaster students remembered James today by wearing his favorite color, blue, to school.
Meanwhile, loved ones of Alyssa Loschiavo will pay their final respects tomorrow morning at 14 Holy Helpers Church. The West Seneca teen died last Saturday from injuries suffered when she was hit by a van three years ago.
Both tragedies have left many children and teens grieving in Western New York. Kristy D’Angelo is the Director of Gateway-Longview’s Behavioral Health Clinic. She says there is no timeline for grief and every child will have a different way of coping, some will be more obvious than others.
D'Angelo says "Children will express their thoughts or feelings about it, an event, at a time that is certainly unexpected, in the middle of the grocery store or the middle of a birthday party. They will talk about something that has to do with that particular event that they might be grieving over."
D'Angelo adds it’s important to let your kids know you are listening, and says to contact your physician, school counselors or other counseling services if you feel your child might need extra help working through the grief process.