Sudden Death of a Loved One – How to deal with it?

“Life brings so much yet takes it away so suddenly. And, at the time of death, what we are left with is shared friendship and memories.” – Byron Pulsifer.

We all know that death is an inevitable part of life that will touch us at some point. We are not meaning to frighten you here; we just want to brace you to a reality of life and more often than not, when we accept this reality, then accepting the death of a loved one becomes a little easier for us. And more than that, it makes us treasure our loved one even more.

However, sudden deaths are at a totally different level which is actually a horrific experience. This can almost always hinder the ability of coping and the effects it leaves on family members are disastrous and can sometimes even tear families apart. And the hardest part? There was no time to say goodbye and now, lives are changed forever.

If you are going through that traumatic experience of dealing with the sudden death of a loved one, you might experience a torrent of many emotional responses. It can affect you psychologically and even physically and while there is no real way to make this grieving process easier, there are certain measures you can take in order to get you through this difficult time.

Know what exactly to expect

The sudden death of a loved one can cause an avalanche of emotions that include shock, guilt, anger, sadness and disbelief. Physical symptoms can include difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite and even illness. Being aware of the responses to grief can help you to manage your own symptoms and help others as well. Not all people grieve in the same way and it’s ok if you feel different, sometimes even indifferent because that’s what extreme grief can do to you; it can shatter you completely and make you behave in ways you never expect. However, it’s important that you brace yourself to accepting both, the actual loss of a loved one and the waves of emotions that come with it.

Let it out- Talk to someone

For some, being around family and friends can actually help them in dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one. Talking with others who are experiencing the same loss will help you to come to terms with what you are suffering and it can serve as an outlet to letting your feelings out. This is also a great way to give and gain emotional support that can truly go a long way in making your grieving journey easier. If there are no family members or friends available to you, then join a support group or see a grief counselor.

Think about children

More often than not, when we grieve, we tend to forget about the people around us who need us the most. Particularly, think about your children and think about how they can cope with the loss. Know that the way children react and handle sudden deaths can be very different and this is why it’s so important to pay extra attention to them and ensure that the child is cared for at all times. To help your child handle the sudden death of a loved one, talk to them and explain death in a way that they can understand. Let them know that it’s OK to cry, show emotions and talk about their feelings. Be there for them at all times.

If required, seek additional help

In some cases, particularly if a loved one has died in a tragic and unexpected way, grieving can take a whole new level. Mental health issues that include post-traumatic stress disorder and depression can interfere heavily with normal daily functions. Inability to accept the loss and constantly being preoccupied with thoughts of the deceased can lead to severe symptoms of grief and if that’s the case, seek the help of a psychology professional. While you may not recover from your grief immediately and while the journey might drain you physically, emotionally and mentally, know that when you accept their loss, you can recall the precious moments and memories with your loved ones easily.

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