DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter loves rap music, and she is very upset right now. She says that her favorite artists keep dying. She went to a music festival a couple of months ago, and one of the artists, Juice Wrld, just died, possibly from an accidental overdose. About a year ago, another of her favorite artists, XXXTentacion, was murdered, just like another one who was trying to do good in his neighborhood, Nipsey Hussle.
My daughter is having a hard time processing so much death. She is a teenager, and life for them usually seems more fun than tragic. How can I console her and warn her at the same time? -- Facing Tragedy
DEAR FACING TRAGEDY: Death is hard to handle at any age, but especially when people you admire die so young. Talk to your daughter about her grief. Even though she did not know these artists, she and her friends probably feel a certain closeness to them because of their fame.
Use the moment to teach your daughter about being safe and making smart choices. Young people often don’t realize how dangerous prescription and illegal drugs can be. Talk to her about why she should not use drugs. Point out what you can verify about people who have died from overdoses. Don’t threaten her. Just call attention to the facts as you know them. Try not to focus on the artists who have died. Leave their memories at peace. Talk to your daughter about her choices, including what she puts into her body and where she goes. Reminding her about personal safety is essential as she spends more time out and about on her own.