Brian White | January 24, 2023 | Wrongful Death
When you experience loss, you will go through a process called grieving. At the end of the grieving process, you will still feel a sense of loss. But grieving will allow your mind to accept the loss and find the motivation to move forward with your emotional life.
Unresolved grief can pose a danger to you and others. It can fester and grow, leading to problems like drug and alcohol abuse, emotional outbursts, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, it is important to call a Houston wrongful death lawyer near you soon.
What Is Grief?
Grief is an emotion like happiness or anger. You experience this emotion in response to a loss.
The sense of loss that triggers grief can come from many sources, including:
- Medical problems or a loss of health
- Death of a friend, family member, or pet
- Loss of a limb
- A financial or property loss
Grief, like all emotions, has different intensities that can vary by situation and between individuals. The feelings you experience after your home burns down might take months to overcome. But the intense emotions after the unexpected death of a loved one could take years to process.
The grief after any death can overwhelm you. But an unexpected death can cause enormous trauma because you have no time to prepare. Examples of deaths that can trigger these emotions include those from:
- Car accidents
- Criminal assaults
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Diseases like COVID-19 or advanced cancer
- Workplace accidents
- Drug overdoses
Importantly, the sense of grief does not come from any rational sense that the death was preventable. You feel grief whether your loved one died from an unavoidable heart attack or a preventable car crash.
Grief can produce physical and mental ailments, including:
- Social isolation
- High blood pressure
These symptoms are not psychosomatic. They result from physical changes due to stress hormones like cortisol.
The Difference Between Grief and Grieving
Grief is an emotion. Grieving is a process that you go through as you experience grief. A healthy grieving process helps you accept the loss. You will still experience grief when you remember the loss. But its effects will not overwhelm you.
Grieving can take place in a series of stages:
The Stages of Grief
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross created the most famous outline of the grieving process. Her explanation of grieving includes five stages:
Not everyone goes through every stage of the process. And some people experience additional stages, like shock, pain, guilt, and rebuilding.
Step-by-Step Guide for Emotional Healing
The goal of going through grieving is to find a new reality where you have accepted your loss. For example, if your close sibling died in a car accident, your grieving process will ideally end with you being able to think of them without being overwhelmed by feelings of sadness.
Some steps you can take to navigate grieving include:
Allow the Grieving Process To Take Place
The first step is to accept that grieving will take you on an emotional journey through many feelings and emotions. Suppressing those feelings could result in experiencing mentally damaging unresolved grief.
You will feel anger, depression, and other emotions associated with grieving. Accepting those feelings as normal and allowing yourself to experience them will help you get through them.
Allowing the process to happen means you should avoid:
- Hiding or suppressing your emotions
- Trying to “stay strong”
- Ignoring or avoiding painful feelings
- Moving on too quickly
- Never moving on
Everyone experiences the grieving process differently. Some grieve for a few days or weeks, while others can take a year or longer.
Grief is not a unique experience. Everyone feels grief at some point in their life. When you experience an unexpected loss, turn to others for support.
For many people, this can mean:
- Having someone to talk to
- Relieving some of your pressing responsibilities at work or home
- Getting feedback from others
- Seeking professional assistance
Support can come from friends and family members. Sometimes, support is more helpful if it comes from someone who has experienced the same loss. For example, after the death of a loved one, you can seek support from mutual friends or the deceased person’s family.
You can also attend a support group or seek professional help. This kind of support is not for everyone. But support groups and therapists can provide valuable insight into the grieving process. You can also socialize with support group members who empathize with your experience.
As you grieve, it might be easy to forget to take care of yourself. Depression can suppress your appetite and cause insomnia or oversleeping. You might be tempted to isolate yourself from others. You may even miss work.
While you might find it difficult, remember to take care of yourself. Eat healthily, stick to a sleep schedule, try to socialize, and go to work.
Finding meaning might seem difficult. But remember that your loved one would not want you to spiral downward. Instead, they would likely want you to find a way forward.
Some people find meaning in honoring or memorializing their loved ones. Paint a picture, sculpt a statue, write a poem, or donate your time to your loved one’s favorite charity.
Think about what they would want for you. Rededicate yourself to the educational, relationship, or family goals you shared with your loved one.
Many people find meaning in getting justice for their loved ones. If their unexpected death resulted from someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, you might pursue justice through a wrongful death claim.
In Texas, a wrongful death action allows you to get compensation from those who caused your loved one’s death through intentional or negligent actions.
Your compensation award can cover your financial losses, such as funeral costs and medical bills you paid on behalf of your loved one. They can also include non-financial losses, such as lost companionship and mentorship from your loved one.
Recovering from Grief After the Unexpected Death of a Loved One
The grieving process can cause emotional pain and physically exhaust you. But taking steps to keep yourself on track through the grieving process will help you accept the loss and prepare your mind for the future.
Contact the Houston Wrongful Death Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054