Copping With Unexpected Death

The Unique Struggle of Traumatic Grief

In the most fortunate situations, our loved ones in their later years are able to prepare for the inevitability of their final days and plan arrangements that will help make the transition of loss a less painful one. However, a sudden or traumatic death will force surviving family through an entirely different grieving process that can leave serious long-term emotional wounds that are difficult to heal. The usual stress of contacting an Orlando funeral home, handling the estate, and another end of life necessities can seem even more troubling when there has been no time and no warning leading up to the event.

It is common for the survivors of a sudden death to feel intense anxiety, confusion, and doubt about the future, resulting in emotional responses that can seem inappropriate to mourning but are still quite normal. Traumatic events involving violence and fearful circumstances often lead to a condition known as Survivor’s Guilt where a survivor suffers intense remorse under the belief that their survival was a mistake. Suicide and other tragedies also lead to a myriad of painful mental anxieties that cannot be quickly overcome. Regardless of the circumstances, if you are supporting someone coping with a traumatic death, it is important to use reliable knowledge and compassion to work successfully through the healing process.   

The Initial Period of Shock

It is common for funeral homes in Orlando to witness families still reeling from the shock of a sudden death and struggling with the details of afterlife arrangements. The immediate reaction to an unexpected death is often one of disbelief and shock with chronic symptoms that manifest in every aspect of the daily routine. During the days, weeks, and potential months of this period, many people experience an emotional and physical numbness that affects sleep, appetite, and concentration.

The Importance of Support

More than anything, people struggling with sudden grief require constant patience and support from friends and loved ones. The symptoms of emotional shock are wide-ranging and numerous anger numbness and all people cope and mourn in their own way. During the shock period, however, it is crucial to ensure that your loved one receives the appropriate amount of attention.

Common symptoms to watch for are:

  • Distracted nature while driving or performing other tasks
  • Inability to maintain regular hygiene
  • Inability to upkeep with daily tasks or schedules
  • Poor diet or sleep habits
  • Self Medication
  • Reluctance to make decisions
  • Inability to process the events as they unfold

While it is acceptable to enjoy comfort in whatever way is most soothing to those in mourning, it is vital to maintain a healthy routine and avoid using alcohol or other intoxicants as coping alternative. Those experiencing shock may need assistance with daily chores and with finalizing important decisions related to the Orlando funeral home. Be ever present to those in mourning as they will need to discuss, share, and process the traumatic event and have an open ear with which to share their story. 

Building a New Normal

It is expected for many families to feel a need for closure. Many unexpected deaths include unanswered questions and unfinished business that can stall the journey to healthy grieving. Speak to a funeral professional of any funeral home in Orlando if you feel your loved one is struggling to move forward in the mourning process.