We all realize that death is inevitable down the road, but the sudden loss of a loved one or family member can leave you grief-stricken and paralyzed with feelings of despair. We simply assume that our mothers, fathers, siblings and children will reach old age. Yet unforeseeable accidents, illness and disease can cause death to come much sooner than expected. The traumatic, accidental death of a loved one can shatter the world as you know it, leaving you bewildered and shaken. Survivors are quickly thrust into a new, frightening reality, one which may seem to have no rhyme or reason.
How do bereaved survivors cope with the death of a loved one? The grieving process is different for everyone. It is not uncommon to experience intense feelings of guilt, remorse, anger, depression and hopelessness. Feelings of sadness, anger and disbelief often come in waves, usually triggered by small reminders that the deceased is forever gone.
During these emotionally challenging times, it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to process this loss and assimilate it into your daily life. It’s equally important to reach out to friends, family or church for support.
Coping with accidental death
There is certainly no “right” way to grieve, but many find it helpful to have some support along the way.
There are many short and long-term coping methods that can help survivors through the painful grieving process and move forward with their lives.
- Focus on one day at a time, and give yourself the time and space to grieve.
- Be accepting of your own feeling and emotions, and be prepared for everything from numbness and fear to disabling sadness.
- Don’t bottle up your feelings – allow yourself to experience the pain and cry.
- Don’t isolate yourself. It’s important to speak with friends, relatives or spiritual mentors about your loss.
- Encourage yourself to take part in social activities and engagements. Isolation only encourages sadness and depression.
- Take some time to consider those who are important in your life.
- Try and maintain a normal routine, whether it’s taking the kids to school or going to your weekly yoga class.
- Get enough sleep and take care of your physical well-being– this will go a long way to helping you feel emotionally stable.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs as crutches to get relief.
- Engage in physical activity that gets the heart pumping, which naturally helps combat depression and relieves stress.
- If you need to process the loss with others, seek out a support group in your area or try counseling with a therapist.
- Pursue activities that comfort, sustain and recharge. Consider learning a new skill or taking up an interesting hobby.
The Salamati Law Firm is here to help
The accidental death of a loved one is a sudden loss that brings sudden grief. Here at the Salamati Law Firm, we offer compassionate, effective representation in wrongful death cases throughout Southern California. We invite you to schedule a private consultation with Sean Salamati, a compassionate Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer who is on your side. Call 888-259-4060 to learn more.
Additional resources for coping with grief:
- Journey of Hearts, Dealing with Sudden, Accidental or Traumatic Death http://www.journeyofhearts.org/grief/accident2.html
- Focus on the Family, Moving Forward: Dealing With Grief http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/emotional-health/moving-forward-dealing-with-grief
- Everett Clinic, Coping with the unexpected death of a loved one http://www.everettclinic.com/blog/coping-unexpected-death-loved-one