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What to expect when unexpected loss occurs

You no doubt remember exactly what you were doing when you got the call that told you there had been a terrible accident involving your loved one. Your memory of events beyond that moment, however, may be a lot more vague. In fact, your next conscious memory may be of a time that came hours, even days later. Memory loss is a common factor associated with shock, post-traumatic stress syndrome and the typical grieving process, as if there is such a thing.

No grieving process is typical because no two situations are the same; however, many people who have suffered unexpected, devastating losses have found they shared certain emotions and experiences in common. If a negligent driver caused your loved one's death, you may also experience frustration and anger, which can lead to physical health problems if left unchecked. Learning about various coping mechanisms, as well as where to seek support, can help you come to terms with your great loss.

Practical tools to help you mourn

Your life will obviously never be the same as you learn to live without your loved one. He or she may have perhaps simply been on the way to work or running an errand when a distracted or drunk driver hit them, thrusting you and your family into unfathomable shock and sorrow. The following ideas may be useful as you try to overcome grief and go on in life:

  • Many people in similar situations find it very helpful to write down thoughts and feelings in the aftermaths of loved ones' deaths. Even if you've never been the type of person to keep a journal, giving this form of grieving a try may prove therapeutic for you. There's no right or wrong about what to write. In fact, in addition to expressing your emotions, you may want to keep lists and written account of tasks, duties and upcoming events to help you focus when concentrating on daily life is difficult.
  • Sleeping and eating problems often occur following sudden, untimely loss. You may want to stay in bed unceasingly and find yourself binge eating unhealthy foods as a direct reaction to your grief. On the other hand, many people suffer severe insomnia and lack of appetite during the mourning process as well. Either situation is an extreme to a healthy medium, and it's crucial for you to find balance in order to stay focused and well.
  • It's natural to want to set aside tasks and duties that may seem superficial in the wake of a loved one's death. However, chronic procrastination can set in and cause even more stress if you're not careful. Some people find it very helpful to continue to carry out basic daily tasks and duties, one at a time, so they feel like they are in control of their situations and can still function.

You will likely spend a lot of time thinking about your loved one, and may even relive the moments surrounding his or her death over and over in your mind. So as not to dwell on such things to the point that you feel paralyzed and unable to go on in life, it may help to set an alarm that allows you to spend a certain amount of time focused on such thoughts, then gently helps you transition your focus to other present issues.

Other support options in recovery

Nothing can replace the loss of your loved one. It's understandable, though, that you'd want to pursue justice on behalf of your beloved family member when another person's negligence or recklessness caused his or her death. 

In such circumstances, many Tennessee residents turn to experienced attorneys to help them file wrongful death claims in court.

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8900 Executive Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-329-7269
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Johnson City
115 East Unaka Ave.
Johnson City, TN 37601

Phone: 423-415-1920
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