Death through accident is usually a jarring experience. By their very nature no one expects accidental deaths and the fact that friends and family will not likely have had time to say goodbye can make these events even sadder. Whether it happens through road traffic accidents, accidents at work or in any other manner, accidental deaths are shocking, upsetting and can require those working through bereavement to find professional help in coping with their grief.
Coping Immediately with Accidental Death
Those who lose a loved one to accidental death must take care to carry on in the days after the death. Trying to establish a routine, making up lists of what needs to be done, and taking care to eat a balanced diet and to try to get enough rest are all important for getting through the immediate time surrounding an accidental death. Many of the bereaved may find that they have a hard time sleeping and so turn to alcohol or drugs to try to get rest. If at all possible this should be avoided as the temptation to mask grief with these items can be very high. If it makes it easier, living just for the hour or the day is fine – there s no need to worry about tomorrow in the time immediately following an accidental death.
Coping Short Term with Accidental Death
In the weeks following an accidental death, the support of family and a close friend can be crucial to helping someone cope with their new life. Arrangements for funerals and memorials must be made, sorting out the deceased s estate and dealing with the many new questions that arise about finances, living arrangements and more, can all be draining and emotional. Organising others to help the bereaved by preparing meals, providing child care and organising the funeral or memorial arrangements may all be a great help. If the circumstances of the death make it a news story, again such as road traffic accidents or accidents at work, then a family member or friend who steps forward to deal with the press and be the bereaved s spokesperson may also be appreciated.
Coping Long Term with Accidental Death
Bereavement and grief are processes, which means they tend to change and evolve as time goes on. However, for some people, there seems to be no change in the grief they are feeling or how they are coping with their emotions. This can be a worry. Individuals who can not seem to move on in the long term, who have chosen to turn to drink or drugs, who express suicidal thoughts or who seem to have great rage (or express this rage through violence) should seek professional help. Individuals who seem to give up on life and can not seem to care for themselves or their dependents also need help. Grief counsellors and therapists are trained to help those whose worlds have been shaken by accidental death and there is no reason to feel weak, funny or otherwise negative about seeing them.
Coping with death through accidents can go through three distinct time frames: immediately following the death, in the short term following the death and in the long term following the death. Family and friends who are available to help during all of these times will likely be greatly appreciated.