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Dealing With Unexpected Death

As hard as it is to cope with the death of a loved one, it is even harder when you lose them to violence or accident. In the aftermath of a tragedy like this, many people find themselves harboring a lingering bitterness towards society and life in general. Although these wounds are not quick to heal, the love and support of family and friends can help someone accept their loss and put their life back together.

How to Help Others
As a friend, you may find yourself comforting someone close to you through an experience like this. Victor Parachin, author of Grief Relief, offers some suggestions on how to comfort a grieving family member or friend during this difficult period.

  • Be available to help, even with everyday tasks. Offer to help take care of the pets or to pick up the kids from school.
  • Don’t judge what a grieving person may say. They are in pain and don’t always mean what they say. Allow them to express all their feelings.
  • Be sensitive and respectful. Don’t trivialize their pain or to comfort them with cliches like “It was God’s will.”
  • Most of all, be patient. People who must suffer through a murder trial or other reminders of a death may need more time to heal.

What to Do if it Happens to You

Unfortunately, there may be times when you will experience an unexpected death of someone close to you. In her book, No Time for Goodbyes, author Jannis Harris Lord outlines what she considers the keys to coping with this sort of tragedy:

  • Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. Keeping everything locked up inside will only make it worse.
  • Be aware that there is no “right way” to mourn. Allow others to grieve your mutual loss in their own way.
  • Gather information about the death through police reports, autopsy reports and eyewitness information.
  • This information can help bring you peace of mind.
    Don’t be afraid to recover. You did not die along with your loved one, and they would not want you to grieve forever.


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