Initial Shock: How to Cope with Death of a Loved One
Disbelief is common. No one could have imagined that when a loved one walked out the door that morning, a call would come in a short time later about a truck that jackknifed on Innerbelt Freeway, causing a tragic accident. Receiving an update from the surgeon and learning that something went wrong during the procedure and nothing could be done to save your loved one’s life is another example.
These are scenarios that no one can possibly prepare for, so it’s no wonder that people are left feeling numb. Many times there is a sense of shock or outright denial that it happened. It doesn’t seem possible; it just can’t be true.
For others, the disbelief or shock prevents them from responding. It hasn’t really set in, so they don’t acknowledge the truth. It can take time for things to register and the reality of the situation to hit. And when it does, it can consume the person.
Some people experience an immediate sense of guilt. It could be a wish that it had been them instead of the loved one. Or regret that things had been left unsaid. Blaming oneself or believing that somehow it could have been prevented can plague people.
It’s important to understand these (and a variety of other emotions) are normal. There isn’t a “right” way to cope with death of a loved one. But it does help to know that everyone handles it differently, and one way isn’t better than another.
As Time Passes: How to Cope with Death of a Loved One
Eventually, the disbelief and shock begin to wear off. Now faced with planning a funeral and possibly seeking legal action when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand some of the ways the process can be made easier.
One is to become educated about the cause of death. Although dwelling on it may sound unsavory, facing the crisis head-on often helps people move past the incident. Think of the number of mothers who have banded together through MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) to seek justice. It’s part of the healing process.
Talk to someone else who has experienced a similar tragedy. Support groups can be a helpful way to connect with others who can relate. One-on-one therapy is also beneficial. But don’t just rely on professionals. Talking about your feelings with other family members and friends is just as important.
Finally, don’t try to deny or suppress your feelings. Give yourself the opportunity to work through them at your own pace. But also give yourself permission to experience all of the emotions. Nobody expects you never to laugh again; conversely, angry outbursts can be expected.
The attorneys at Ryan, LLP have built their reputation representing individuals and small businesses against large insurance corporations, government agencies and financial institutions. Thus, we offer a plethora of information on the Ryan, LLP blog ranging from how to cope with the death of a loved one to how to file a wrongful death claim in Cleveland.