Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy. When the deceased passed away unexpectedly due to no fault of his or her own, that can make the grieving process even more complicated. Anyone who has been tasked with managing a loved one’s estate or otherwise handling practical affairs following a sudden loss can read on to get advice about how to proceed.

Focus on Family

The most important thing to remember is that the deceased’s surviving family members and friends will all be suffering. Now is a time that loved ones should come together to support each other, especially the surviving family members. It’s common for those closest to people killed in car accidents to withdraw from the world, so make a point of reaching out by offering and gratefully receiving help.

Hold Wrongdoers Accountable

It’s common for loved ones to experience a desire for revenge after losing loved ones to accidents, especially if someone else was undeniably at fault. While it’s important to know that these feelings are a normal part of the grieving process, the best way to deal with them is to find an accident attorney. Holding wrongdoers accountable is a good way to honor the deceased’s memory and help to protect others against a similar fate.

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Be Patient

Everyone grieves in a different way and recovers at his or her own rate. It’s important for surviving loved ones to be patient with themselves and each other. Consider this permission to experience confused and conflicting feelings. There are many ways to grieve, and all of them are valid.

Some people experience delayed responses to the wrongful death of a loved one. Shock and denial are often referred to as the first stage of grief, but in fact, everyone moves through these stages in different orders. It’s important for surviving loved ones to be patient not just with others who may be experiencing profoundly upsetting feelings but also with themselves.

Know When to Seek Mental Health Care

It’s completely normal to go through difficult emotional changes following the death of a loved one, and many people find that they can benefit from grief counseling in the immediate aftermath of a deadly accident. Even those who aren’t interested in seeking professional counseling immediately should know when to seek mental health care in the long run.

Though grieving is a highly individualized process, which makes it next to impossible to determine what’s normal and what’s not, persistent and debilitating grief that does not seem to be getting better may indicate a mental health condition. Mental health professionals refer to this problem as complicated grief, and it’s a condition best treated with the help of a professional.

Remember That It’s OK to Move On

Losing a loved one to wrongful death can feel like the end of the world. At some point, though, the person’s family members and friends will start to recognize positive things in life again. Some find that they experience a sense of shame or guilt when they first start feeling positive, happy, or hopeful after the death of a loved one, but it’s important to remember that it’s OK to move on. The deceased would not have wanted his or her loved ones to continue suffering indefinitely.

Everyone’s Journey Is Different

Everyone’s journey through the grieving process is different. Some people can focus exclusively on self-care and checking in on their loved ones. Others are tasked with handling practical affairs such as funeral planning, estate administration, and taking legal action against the responsible parties. Just remember to be patient.