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How can I cope with a traumatic death?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. When a death is sudden and especially traumatic, it can be exceedingly difficult to navigate the grieving process. Having the right support is key in this case, as support can provide healthy methods of coping while also enabling you to work through your grief. Psychology Today offers the following advice to help people who’ve experienced tragic and unexpected personal losses.

Anger is a natural emotional response

Along with sadness, you may experience a sense of anger. This is especially true when a person loses their life due to the negligence of another person, which can spur outrage in loved ones. Many people attempt to suppress this anger, as they may believe that it’s not an appropriate response. In fact, anger is a natural reaction to death and it should be addressed as you work through the grieving process. If you feel like your anger is too much to handle on your own, seek out professional assistance.

Don’t indulge in self-blame

You might also entertain thoughts that you could have intervened to potentially save your loved one. This is a common response and indicates that you’re attempting to regain control after a sudden and unexpected loss. You must come to terms with the fact that there is nothing that could have been done and that you shouldn’t assume blame for what occurred.

Looking for personal meaning in tragedy

It can be beneficial to find personal meaning in a tragedy. For instance, honoring the life of the person you lost can be cathartic for both you and other friends and family. You may also use the situation to educate others about your loss, such as the dangers of drunk driving. Doing so can help you make sense of the tragedy while also remembering the life and impact of the person you held so dear. 

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