A sudden death in the family can cause all kinds of issues, from shock all the way through to severe emotional trauma. The very idea of a person being there one minute and not the next can be difficult to comprehend without the experience. Which is why so many people find it so difficult to deal with – they have nothing to compare it to.
We’re all different, of course. And we all deal with things in a variety of ways. There are, however, various things anyone affected by a sudden death in the family should consider. The following advice should help you get the help you need to start dealing with your suffering.
Dealing with the early stages of the event can vary wildly from person to person. Some will go through instant devastation – others will be in shock, and feel numb. You may even feel completely normal – a little sad, perhaps, but you seem to be coping OK. However, the real symptoms of shock will come around at some point – you might be able to pull through until after the funeral, for example.
The first month
You will ask yourself a lot of questions about why this happened. You may have regret, fear, suffer from nightmares, and you may even feel guilty. Anger is common, too – especially if you have lost a loved one through the actions of someone else. You could have a desire for revenge – but it is important to keep on top of these thoughts, no matter how natural they seem.
You could seek help from a therapist, and we would recommend it to make sure you aren’t feeling the effects of post-traumatic stress. Taking some kind of legal action can help, too. A wrongful death attorney can help you start the ball rolling, and having a focus can assist you through one of the toughest stages of mourning. There are no guarantees that you will get the justice you want, of course. But, seeking answers is a natural response, and doing so within the law is the safest course of action for everyone.
The long term
Grief is a long-term issue, and it never really goes away. However, you will – slowly – become accepting of your loss. It does help if you have had some closure on a legal case, or at least have the answers that you need. But, even if you don’t, there are several coping methods you can employ to help you through tough times. There will still be times when you feel sad, upset, and confused – and it can last for many years. Little things will remind you of your loss – although they will dim over time.
Of course, if you have recently suffered from a sudden death in the family, it is unlikely you will be reading this post. But, perhaps you have someone close to you that needs your support. Treat them as you would want to be treated yourself – and be awe that it can be a long process of recovery.