Death is a complex concept that most people find frightening and emotionally traumatic. When an individual loses a loved one, the process of grieving is not a simple one. Grief is a natural and essential part of accepting the death of someone close to us, yet it is painful, complicated and overwhelmingly emotional.
Support and time are two important elements of the healing process. Learning how to cope with death allows the grieving person to eventually accept the loss and move on with life.
Stages of Grief
Understanding the following stages of grief may prepare a person for a loss or can help someone working through the grieving process identify with what he or she is feeling. Allowing yourself to acknowledge the feelings you are having while grieving a loved one can be critical to eventually healing and moving on.
- Denial or shock: There is a purpose to this stage. Sometimes it is necessary for a loved one to remain objective and calm initially after the loss occurs. A feeling of numbness might take over to protect the grieving person as he makes funeral arrangements, notifies relatives or takes other action that is required of him.
- Bargaining: This is the stage where an individual replays certain events leading up to the death and considers all ways that the death could have been prevented or recalls ways his relationship with the deceased could have been better.
- Depression: A common stage of grieving includes intense sadness, loss of energy or desire to carry out daily tasks and feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
- Anger: Another common stage involves feelings of abandonment or anger at the deceased for leaving. Anger can also be directed at others associated with the death.
- Acceptance: This is a final and necessary stage of grief that involves the surviving individual accepting the loss. This stage allows a person to acknowledge that life will continue in a different way, but will continue nonetheless.
Strategies to Cope with Death
Seeking help when it’s needed and allowing feelings to surface will assist an individual with healing and moving on with life. Consider the following strategies to cope with death of a loved one.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Your friends, family members and other members of your support system will want to help you through your loss. By denying the death or isolating yourself, you are distancing yourself from the very people who wish to provide you with the support you need. Talk about memories of the deceased and how you feel.
- Don’t neglect yourself. Remember to eat, sleep and exercise in the same manner you did prior to the loss. If you didn’t take great care of yourself before, this may be the time to start.
- Acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to be sad, angry or depressed after the loss of a loved one. Don’t repress your feelings. Allow yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling.
- Honor your lost loved one. It’s often helpful to the grieving process to make a donation to your loved one’s favorite charity or finding another way to remember and honor the deceased. Celebrate the life of the person you’ve lost and allow yourself to remember him or her.
- Speak to a professional. If you feel that you are not coping in a healthy way, seek help from a therapist or psychologist who specializes in grief counseling. Consider joining a support group. There is no shame in needing help during the grieving process.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help with Wrongful Death Actions
As you cope with death, many other details can seem to pile up. If someone else caused your loved one’s death, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help file a wrongful death claim. Call us at 215-642-2335 or use our contact page to set up an appointment.