Losing someone we love suddenly is devastating. Not only is it incredibly sad, but there is also the added impact of shock to consider. How ever you react, remember it is normal and understandable given the devastating news you received. Many often feel isolated, bewildered and traumatised, and need support to cope with the situation.
What we do know is that a sudden loss tears families apart, possibly leaving children without a mum, dad or sibling, parents without a child or individuals without a partner. There is no time to prepare or say goodbye. Life is changed forever.
In some cases, we may not even know the person who has died and may have only seen a media release about a tragedy that has occurred. There’s no right or wrong way to react to the death of someone you don’t know. Many people experience grief when they hear about a strangers’ passing, whether a celebrity or ordinary person. We often feel a connection with them through a similarity or even put ourselves in their situation as a parent, child, sibling or friend.
Humans are social animals. When a person dies, coming together to mourn their loss is both comforting and supporting. Funeral rites, regardless if they are religious or non-religious, will lessen sadness and stress. By attending funerals or farewell services, we listen to eulogies and begin to accept that our future is uncertain, all while supporting each other.
If supporting a friend experiencing a sudden loss, remember to listen with understanding. When we speak, and someone listens, we always feel truly understood.