It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life let it pull you forward. – Patti Davis

When someone you know is going to die, you have a chance to prepare; at least a little. However, the unexpected and sudden death of a loved one can leave you feeling stunned, lost, and overwhelmed with pain. You may not even know where to begin to cope.

Sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult events for anyone to deal with. Anytime you lose someone you love, whether it is sudden or not, it can be challenging. Sudden loss definitely provides a unique challenge as the shock can intensify and complicate the grief.

Sudden loss gives you no chance to prepare, leaves you feeling cheated as you never had the chance to say your goodbye’s, and can make the world feel shaky and less safe leaving you feeling fearful, uncertain, angry, and frustrated.

At some point in our lives we all will face the death of a loved one. Cultivating fundamental beliefs that you believe to the very core of your soul will help you walk this difficult road.

The following is a list of key principles/beliefs to remember when dealing with sudden unexpected loss of a loved one and to deeply embed in the core of your soul as you prepare for such a difficult time:

People do recover from sudden losses and you will too! Grief is well known to mislead you into thinking that you will never recover. Don’t buy this for one minute. It may be a tough road to walk, but as long as you continue walking you will recover.

Love yourself and take special care of yourself while going through grief. Grief is especially gifted at getting you to forget about taking care of yourself. Even remembering to eat and breathe can be difficult at times.

Being strong and brave is important, but never, ever miss an opportunity to cry. Dealing with your feelings in a sensible and honest way will help you to heal.

Remember feelings expressed disappear; feelings repressed don’t. If I were to give you a hot rod of iron to hang onto, you would probably drop it immediately as it began to burn. So, don’t hang on to those feelings as those will burn too!

Get some support and teammates. Seek out a counselor, support group, church group, or any other supportive relationship or group. Walking a road of grief by yourself can be deadly; seek out teammates that can help you along the way.

The person you lost would want you to recover from losing them. This is a very critical belief to adopt even before you lose someone close to you. Hang on to this belief tight!

The person you lost would want you to remember and honor them by living a fulfilling life. Grief is tough. You will have some really tough days and nights, but give it your best shot at living and creating a fulfilling life as this can be one of the most honorable ways to remember and honor them.

If you are going through a sudden loss of a loved one please remember these critical items as they can help you heal.  However, if you know of someone who is going through such a loss then also keep these in mind as you can become a very valuable teammate for them to heal.

Photo Credit: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


Chris Swenson is a licensed therapist who helps people overcome and face life’s most treacherous challenges. His office is located in Sterling, CO. For an appointment please call Chris at (970) 522-0796.