This was a difficult blog to write and it will probably be even more difficult to read.
Coping with Unexpected, Sudden, Tragic Death
Coping with death is never easy for the loved ones who remain incarnated on Earth after their loved one has died. If we have time to prepare, we can develop skills to allow us to cope with this inevitable loss when it occurs. However, when we are caught completely off-guard, we aren’t given the time to develop the necessary skills to cope with the death of a loved one. Ordinary events become more meaningful when those occurrences become the last instance of an ordinary event.
- We kiss a loved one good-bye in the morning not realizing that will be the last kiss we share on Earth.
- We call a friend to chat about day-to-day life, not realizing that will be the last conversation we will share as two incarnated souls.
- We wait until a convenient time to visit a relative, but an inconvenient death causes us to attend their funeral instead.
We rely on a certain order to life, so when this order is disrupted, we sometimes struggle to catch up, because we haven’t had a chance to prepare. Coping with unexpected, sudden, and tragic death is different than grieving a loss for which we had time to prepare.
Unexpected, sudden, and tragic death can take many forms including accidents, suicides, and homicides. When faced with this type of death of a loved one, we tend to move into “survival mode” without consciously choosing to make this shift. Survival mode means that we do what we have to do to move through the situation. When an event occurs that is too difficult for us to process, shock kicks in and we confront the event not from a logical viewpoint, but rather a state of survival. Survival mode is a way for us to keep moving forward to complete the tasks that are required of us, until we can stop and assess the painful new reality that means our loved one is no longer an incarnated soul. This shock allows parents or a spouse to take care of the final details associated with their loved one’s sudden death instead of becoming a catatonic shell.
When an event occurs suddenly that completely changes our reality, we want to know why.
- Why did the accident occur? Who was at fault? Could it have been prevented?
- What caused the medical crisis that took the life of my loved one? Was negligence involved? Why wasn’t a diagnosis made that could have prevented this death? Why weren’t there signs that my loved one’s body was ill?
- Why was my loved one so unhappy? How could he/she choose to end his/her life? What could I have done to prevent this? Why didn’t I know my loved one was suicidal?
- What caused another person to express their anger so violently? Did the person who killed my loved one know him / her? Was this an accident or a planned event? Why did this happen?
It’s Not Your Fault
Unfortunately, sometimes, we never learn why circumstances or actions occurred that led to our loved one’s death. Unless we were truly responsible for our loved one’s death (i.e., homicide), then it is not our fault, therefore guilt is unwarranted. One of the most often asked questions from a sitter during a psychic medium session between a sitter and their loved one who died unexpectedly—especially due to suicide—is, “What could I have done to prevent it?” Although each spirit answers this question differently, the theme is always the same, “Nothing.”
Be Gentle with Yourself
In all forms of grief, but especially for grief associated with an unexpected, sudden, or tragic death, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be gentle with yourself.
- If it takes too much energy to get out of bed AND shower, then just focus on getting out of bed. Acknowledge your accomplishment with pride instead of diminishing the importance of every step you take.
- If you need to cry, do so. There is no reason to get frustrated with yourself or apologize to others. Tears are healthy and cleanse the soul.
- If every topic of conversation makes you think of your loved one and evokes a desire to talk about him/her, allow that to happen. Again, no self-recrimination or apologies are warranted.
Move through Your Grief
Once you’re able to start moving through your grief, strive to find something positive on which to focus. Instead of only focusing on the tragedy, how unfair it is, and how sad and angry you are, focus on a lesson you learned as a result, how you can help others, or the peace that your loved now has on the other side of the veil.
- Blog about your loved one
- Create art, music, or a manuscript
- Plant a memorial tree
- Advocate for change
- Forgive your loved one and anyone else involved in the circumstances which led to your loved one’s death