How to Cope with a Sudden Loss

Charlotte psychologistWhen someone you love or are close to passes away suddenly there is a large void in your life and with that void comes a flood of emotions. Many of these emotions are extremely complex and can be difficult to overcome. Learning to accept your new normal after a traumatic or unexpected loss can take time. Moving forward and creating a new reality that allows you to heal and move on is more difficult than people may think. When a loss is sudden or traumatic, the grieving process changes. If you need to speak with a Charlotte psychologist, call Legacy Freedom.

Grief Is Overshadowed

The overt lack of sadness expressed by someone who has tragically or suddenly lost someone can be difficult for most people to perceive. While it makes sense that accepting the passing of the person is hard, the part that defies logic for most people is that the feelings of disbelief or shock that relate to the sudden loss often manifest as a shutdown or emotional numbness. These reactions are normal and should be validated by those around them.

A Need to Fill in the Blanks

Not having answers for tragic events or being forced to live in the unknown is uncomfortable for most human beings. We find it almost impossible to function or live without answers as to why a tragic life event occurred or about the situation surrounding the event. In order to make sense of it all, it is common for survivors to fill in the blanks. While the explanations may not be able to be proven or the assumptions are missing the mark, many people feel better about that than having to live without knowing why something happened. Support systems should be concerned when the explanation includes self-blame.

Anger or Outrage

Anger that is not expressed will become destructive and manifest in different ways. Anger needs to be witnessed, expressed, and soothed before the underlying grief can be accessed. Creating a safe space for this anger to be felt and dealt with is crucial for the grieving and healing process. The senselessness of the loss needs to be normalized so that it can be broken down and worked through.


Believing that they could have done something or should have known it was coming is another common reaction to an unexpected or sudden loss. They may seek forgiveness from those who have perished and experience survivor's guilt. One of the hardest things to accept and process is that no matter what they did they wouldn’t have been able to save their loved one or change the outcome of the situation.

Best Charlotte Psychologist

Losing someone suddenly and tragically is life-altering. At Legacy Freedom, our Charlotte psychologist understands that you may need help to process these difficult and complex feelings. Thousands of clients have been able to heal and process their grief with our holistic approach to mental health therapy. Don’t let your tragic loss define your life. Call or click today to get started with holistic mental health care from Legacy Freedom.

Join us next time for more on what you need to know to cope with an unexpected loss.



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