There are few things harder in life than dealing with the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. This is an experience that many people have to go through, and life is never quite the same after an unexpected loss of a loved one. This is a time when you will be feeling wide-ranging emotions, which can include anger, disbelief, sadness, guilt, and many other complex emotions that can be hard to process. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to manage the grieving process, but there are a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help if this is a situation that you ever find yourself in.
The most important step to take after an unexpected loss is to seek support. You will be reeling at this time, and it is important that you find people that you can lean on during this time, whether this is friends, family, or a professional. This is not an experience that anyone should go through alone, so it is vital that you seek support as early as you can after finding out about the loss.
Accept The Grieving Process
Life will not and should not feel normal after the unexpected loss of a loved one. Instead of fighting against the grieving process and expecting to get back to normal after a few days, it is important that you accept the grieving process and understand that you are now on a long and difficult journey. It is helpful to know the 5 stages of grief that you are likely to experience and also understand that grief is not linear – you might feel much better one day and then terrible the next, and this is completely normal.
Anticipate Delayed Responses
Following on from this, it is also normal to experience delayed responses, particularly with an unexpected death. Immediately after finding out, you are likely to be in a state of shock and confusion, so you may not cry or even feel sad until days later when the shock subsides. This means that you should not feel bad if you are not sad and know that everyone grieves differently.
Look After Yourself
It is also important that you try to look after yourself after the unexpected loss of a loved one. It is unlikely that you will be able to lead your regular daily lifestyle at first, but you do need to try and do basic things like eat, get enough sleep and get out of the house. You might not feel like doing these things, but it will help and make a big difference to your mental health.
Speak With Work
Work will not be your priority initially, but you do need to let them know as soon as you can. It is likely that you will want to take some time off to process what has happened and handle a few practical matters, and it is then worth assessing how you feel after this. For some people, they will need to take more time off to grieve, but for many people, they actually find it helpful to start working again as a way to keep themselves busy and maintain some normalcy.
Consider Legal Action
If the death occurred due to the actions or negligence of a third party, you should consider taking legal action with the help of a wrongful death lawyer. A wrongful death could be a car accident caused by someone else, a workplace accident, a defective product, or medical negligence, just as a few examples. No amount of money will turn back time, but many people find that compensation can help to start building a better life after the loss as well as provide a sense of closure by holding the responsible party accountable.
Find A Grief Support Group
You may not feel like it early on, but many people find that a grief support group can be incredibly helpful during the mourning process and beyond. This is because it gives you the chance to speak with other people that are going or have been through the same process as you, and it is helpful to know that there are others out there that have the same experience as you.
An unexpected loss will turn your world upside down and change it forever, but these tips will hopefully make it a little easier to manage.