Losing the life of a loved one is a tragic, life-altering event. Such a loss can come with profound amounts of grief, especially when that loss was unexpected. Dealing effectively with your grief is essential to your recovery and long-term well-being.
Understanding the Symptoms of Grief
People deal with grief in different ways. Understand that what you are feeling is normal, and that what you feel may change as you continue to deal with your sudden loss. Most people experience some or all of the following:
Shock – People who lose a loved one often feel numb during the early stages of their grief. You may have trouble accepting that your loved one is actually gone and may even expect him or her to walk through the door just like they used to do.
Sorrow – People who lose a loved one usually report feeling profound sadness. Despair, emptiness, and loneliness are all common emotions for those dealing with such loss.
Anger – People who lose a loved one often feel anger of some sort. It is not unusual to feel that you are suffering from a great injustice. Even if the loss is no one’s fault, you may be angry with yourself or others, including the very person you have lost.
Guilt – People who lose a loved one can feel guilty about the past. You may feel regret for things you said or did, or for what you didn’t say or do.
Anxiety – People who lose a loved one can feel anxious about the future. You may experience a fear of your own mortality, or the anxiety that comes from having to face the responsibilities of life without your loved one.
Although these symptoms of grief are all emotional, you may experience physical symptoms as well. People dealing with the loss of a loved one may feel fatigue, stress, nausea, insomnia, weight changes, and physical pain.
Coping With Your Grief
Understand that coping with your loss is a healing process that takes time. However, there are things you can do now to make the process easier.
Get Support – Sharing your grief can make it easier to bear. Rely on friends and family members. Let them know how you are feeling and what you need. You may also want to consider joining a support group. Many people find comfort in learning that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. Also recognize that there are trained professionals, such as therapists and grief counselors, who can provide assistance.
Take Care of Yourself – Battling grief can be a physical process as much as an emotional one. Exercise and eat right. Be sure to get enough sleep. Don’t try to simply numb the pain by relying on drugs or alcohol. Instead of sitting at home, try using your free time to get involved in an important cause or to pick up a hobby you enjoy.
When The Loss of Your Loved One is Caused by Another
Individuals and families who lose a loved one due to the intentional or negligent actions of another can experience a particularly profound amount of sorrow. In this situation, the loss of the loved one is coupled with unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income.
If you have lost a loved one due to the intentional or negligent actions of another, it is vital that you contact a skilled wrongful death attorney. A wrongful death attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.