How to Cope With The Sudden Death Of A Loved One

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Advice | July 12, 2021

Unexpected Loss & How to Cope With Your Grief 


Originally published by Westchester Funeral Home Blog

The sudden death of a loved one can be a difficult experience. Although we all know that death is a part of everyone’s life, the sudden death of a loved one will still be emotional nonetheless. It’s important to understand that grief affects everyone differently. During the grieving process, you will likely experience several different emotional responses. Grief can affect both your psychological and physical well-being.

The length of time it takes to accept the unexpected death of a loved one will be different for everyone. As you begin to heal and move forward along your journey of grief, it is quite common to feel overwhelmed. Although no one can truly understand the pain you may be feeling, there are certain measures you can take to make the bereavement process easier.

Here are some helpful tips for dealing with grief and the sudden death of a loved one.


Understand That This Will Be An Emotional Time


When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, you will most likely experience a whirlwind of emotions. In fact, it’s quite common to feel things like shock, anger, disbelief, sadness and even guilt.

Everyone who has been affected by this loss will each feel some or all of these emotions as well. It’s important to understand that the process of grieving does not follow a specific timeline or list of steps. Everyone will grieve at their own pace and some may only experience a few of the emotions mentioned above. It’s important to understand that just because someone isn’t showing their emotions, it doesn’t mean they are upset about their loss.

No matter what emotions you feel, understand that as you say goodbye and grieve alongside others, you will slowly begin to heal. Don’t feel the need to rush through the bereavement process and grieve at your own pace.


Spend Time Talking With Others


When you are dealing with the sudden death of a loved one, talking to others can be greatly beneficial. Not only will being around others be comforting, it can help make your grief more manageable. Talking with others allows you to accomplish two things.

The first is you can share your feelings with others who are experiencing the same pain. Talking about this can even help you come to terms with the unexpected loss.

The second advantage of talking to others is that you can reminisce over memories of the deceased. Talking about the positive experiences you shared can help make you feel better. Additionally, it’s a great way to offer and receive the emotional support you need during this difficult time.

Accept Help From Others


When a loved one passes away suddenly, it’s natural for others to want to offer assistance to the bereaved. While you may not feel up to interacting with others, accepting help can allow you more time to grieve. Just because a death has occurred, day to day tasks still needs to be completed. It’s normal to not want to accept an offer of help because you feel like it’s a burden. Understand that if someone is offering assistance, it’s being done out of the goodness of their heart and their desire to help you feel better.

Whether it’s something like dropping the kids off at school, driving you to an appointment or making a casserole for dinner, accepting help from others can make the sudden death of a loved one easier.

Don’t be afraid to seek out help if you need it. In the day’s following the death, many people will likely reach out and tell you to let them know if there is anything you need. If you need some help, make sure to take them up on their offer. By not asking, they may not realize you need help. If you ask, they will likely be more than willing to help.

Counselling Can Help With The Sudden Death Of A Loved One 


If you are experiencing any of the psychological symptoms of grief, or physical symptoms like problems sleeping or lack of appetite, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. When a loved one dies suddenly, it can be a traumatic experience. Rather than letting symptoms worsen or develop into a bigger mental health issue, seek out counselling if you think you need it.

A professional counsellor or psychologist can help you work through the emotions you are dealing with. If you need additional resources or support, a licensed professional can recommend or prescribe the help you may need.

Get Back Into Regular Routines


After the service has ended and the phones have stopped ringing frequently, it’s time to get back to life. It may sound harsh, but getting back to your everyday routines can help relieve your grief. When a death occurs, life continues to move on for the rest of the world. You need to understand that by returning to your regular routine, you will feel more at ease and “normal”.

If your child is a member of team or club, make sure they get back to practice or meetings. Continue your regular morning routines for getting ready for work or school. Hold family dinners just like you did before. While you should feel no pressure to return to everyday life, doing so can be beneficial to the grieving process.

If your loved one’s passing has directly impacted your regular routines, gather your family and acknowledge it. Together you can come up with a new solution and understand the new changes. Remember that throughout this, you are still a family. Just because things may be slightly different, you will still each carry your loved one’s memory in your heart forever.

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