How to Cope with the Violent or Sudden Death of a Loved One

August 12, 2023

Coping with the violent death of a loved one can be an incredibly challenging and painful experience. Here are some steps and suggestions that might help you during this difficult time.

Allow yourself to grieve

Permit yourself to feel the range of emotions that come with grief- sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, and more. It is important to acknowledge these feelings rather than suppress them.

Seek support

Don’t try to go through this alone. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who can provide emotional support and understanding. Sometimes, talking about your feelings and memories can help ease the pain. 

Consider professional help

If you’re finding it difficult to cope on your own, a therapist or grief counselor can provide specialised support and coping strategies to navigate your grief.

Express your emotions

Finding healthy ways to express your emotions can be therapeutic. You might consider journaling, creating art, writing letters to your loved ones, or even engaging in physical activities to release tension. 

Memorialise your loved one

Create a memorial or participate in a memorial service to honour and remember your loved one. This could be in the form of a gathering, a virtual memorial, planting a tree, or contributing to a cause they cared about.

Maintain self-care

Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial during this time. Make sure to eat well, get enough rest, and engage in activities that bring you comfort and joy.

Establish a routine

Having a daily routine can provide a sense of stability and purpose, even when everything feels chaotic. This can help you manage your grief while also maintaining some semblance of normality.

Avoid major decisions

Grief can cloud your judgement, so it’s generally best to avoid making major life decisions immediately after a loss. Give yourself time to process and heal before making any significant decisions. Immediately after a loss. Give yourself time to process and heal before making any significant changes.

Educate yourself about grief

Understanding the grieving process can help normalise your feelings. Grief doesn’t have a set timeline, and it’s different for everyone. Be patient with yourself.

Remember the good times

While the circumstances of your loved one’s death were violent, try to focus on the positive memories you shared. Cherishing these memories can help you keep their spirit alive in your heart.

Engage in acts of kindness

Doing something kind for others, perhaps in memory of your loved one, can bring a sense of purpose and positivity during a difficult time.

Consider spiritual or religious practices

If you’re religious or spiritual, engaging in practices that are meaningful to you can offer solace and comfort.

Remember that healing takes time, and there’s no right or wrong way to cope. Be patient with yourself, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling to manage your grief.