How can I cope with the sudden loss of a loved one?

Losing a loved one is never easy. If someone you love lost their life due to another person’s negligent actions, the grieving process can be that much harder. Psychology Today offers the following advice in this case, which can help you make sense of a sudden tragedy the best you can.

Deal with your anger

Senseless tragedies usually evoke significant feelings of anger in those left behind. It’s essential to deal with this anger directly and not try to suppress it. Feelings of outrage are normal in these situations and by ignoring them you risk seriously damaging your mental health. If your anger is too profound, seek out the assistance of a therapist or psychiatrist, who can help you find a way to safely express your true feelings about the loss.

Refrain from blaming yourself

You may also search yourself for ways you could have intervened to prevent the tragedy or believe that you hold some blame. While it can be difficult to avail yourself of these feelings, you must come to accept that is nothing you could have done to stop the loss. Senseless deaths highlight the unpredictable nature of life, and when they occur to people we care about it can be hard to accept.  

Celebrate the life of the deceased

Honoring someone’s life and memory can happen in many different ways. If you’re spiritual, you might ask that a church service be held in the person’s honor. If your loved one greatly believed in a cause or charity, you can donate on his or her behalf. You can also bring together other friends and family who knew the person to share stories about their relationship. Not only can this be emotionally fulfilling, it’s also a healthy way to process your grief.

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