Coping with Grief after the Sudden Loss of a Loved One
Whenever we lose someone close to us, we go through a whole range of emotions as we deal with the events that have taken place. This can be a doubly difficult process when your loved one lost his or her life at a very young age or due to the fault or negligence of someone else.
Understanding how the grieving process works, allowing yourself ample time to deal with your loss, and making use of healthy coping mechanisms and helpful resources can help you through this difficult time.
Understanding the Natural Process of Grief
Psychologists have identified five major stages of grief that people tend to go through. Not everyone experiences all of these emotions, and they may not experience them in order.
Here are five stages of bereavement common among those who have lost a loved one:
- Denial – In this stage, survivors may deny the situation in order to buffer the shock. They might avoid talking about the situation or dealing with the reality of what’s happened. Dealing with the emotions may be simply too overwhelming at this point.
- Anger – As pain sets in, survivors may have waves of anger. They may be angry that their loved one “left them,” that they are in such pain or that someone else caused their loved one’s death.
- Bargaining – People might then begin developing a bargaining mentality. They may attempt to bargain with their higher power, e.g., if you get me through this pain, then…
- Depression – During this stage, sadness and depression set in, and the survivor mourns.
- Acceptance – Some people then begin to move into an emotional space of acceptance. They begin to heal from the loss and realize that they will have to move forward with their lives.
Coping Mechanisms for the Grieving Period
Understanding the stages of grief listed above can help you remember that this is a normal process you are going through and that you’re not alone. There are other ways you can start coping with your grief as well. You can:
- attend grief counseling sessions with a professional;
- find a support group;
- talk to and just be near your friends and family; and
- continue trying to take good care of yourself.
After you lose a love one, it’s common to feel numb, as if there is no way life will ever be normal. Remember you are not alone and that there is help available. Call a family member, a professional or your pastor. And remember to take your time with the healing process: not everyone handles grief in the same timeframe.
Call on your resources when you’re in need. If your loved one’s death was attributed to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover your damages and restitution for mental anguish. Contact us at Chalik & Chalik for help: (855) 529-0269.