How to deal with a sudden loss

June 3, 2017

For those who lose a loved one through a long illness there is quite normally a chance to say goodbye, a chance to accept what is happening and a chance to plan for the future.  However, when you lose someone in an unexpected fashion you are robbed of these opportunities.

On the TV, in the newspapers and on the radio we hear constantly about sudden deaths of celebrities or men and women involved in road traffic accidents and sudden violent deaths. Yet we rarely anticipate that one of our own friends, family or other loved ones will die unexpectedly.  While we often feel removed and distant from what happens in the media, it is not uncommon to be touched by a sudden loss.

When considering some of the major causes of unexpected deaths the figures highlight just how common they are.  Take road traffic accidents for example. In the UK at least 2,000 people each year are killed on British roads. Another leading cause, suicide, claims over 6,500 people each year in the UK, with men three times more likely than women to take their own lives.  Cardiovascular diseases, a common cause of heart attacks, are the reason for 160,000 deaths every single day.

What all of these types of death have in common is that when they occur they are unexpected, shocking and leave so many questions for the people who are left behind.  Rather than having time to say their goodbyes and plan for the future, they are left sometimes without the chance to even spend some time to grieve. They find that they are so busy adjusting to life without their loved one, taking care of funeral arrangements, legal affairs, childcare and other issues that they have no time to come to terms with what has happened.

Sadly, while we can do lots to improve our own health and live the safest and most careful life that we can, there is no way to prevent an accidental death from happening. However, you can plan for the future by writing a will, and take out a funeral plan so that your own loved ones are not left to make difficult decisions over your funeral plans and your estate should something happen to you.

Help & support after a sudden loss

The charity Sudden offers support to families and individuals who have been bereaved suddenly, whether through a road traffic accident, suicide, disaster, war accident or other undiagnosed medical reason. You can find out more about them by visiting their website