While everyone’s journey is different, for many people grief takes a familiar route after suffering a loss. The 5 stages of grief often occur after the death of a loved one, and when it’s a sudden loss a person may have difficulty navigating the stages on their own. Psych Central offers the following information to help you cope with sudden, senseless death.
Losing a loved one is shocking in most circumstances, but it's it's especially shocking when it occurs abruptly. Accordingly, many people experience denial, which is a temporary state that numbs a person against their negative emotions. During the denial stage, some people will even attempt to isolate themselves from others, which prevents them from being faced with reality. Denial often gives way to anger once reality sets in.
Anger can be directed at many people, including the deceased. You may also feel guilt and anger towards yourself for not doing more to stop the loss. Bargaining is the next stage, and this entails making promises with yourself or even a higher power to bring back your loved one. You may also entertain different scenarios that could have potentially produced a different outcome. Depression can occur soon after bargaining.
Depression may touch on every facet of your life. Along with the sadness caused by your loss, you may also experience sadness about other areas in your life affected by the loss. You may even worry about funeral costs or medical bills. At some point, many people accept the loss and move on in a way that makes sense for them. However, not everyone reaches this final stage, and it may take years to do so.