GRIEF: Death of a Loved One
Things You Should Know About Grief in the Aftermath of the Death of a Loved One
Ed Smith is a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. The death of a loved one or close friend is consistently recognized by psychologists as one of the most traumatic experiences we as human beings can experience. And while the experience is common – most every adult now living has lost a loved one at some point in his or her life – the way we grieve and process the experience is unique and individual. This causes some to observe others in grief and conclude that the grieving individual is not grieving “correctly” because:
- They are wallowing in grief for too long;
- They do not appear sad or upset by their loved one’s death;
- They appear to have somehow “changed” or modified their behavior after their loved one’s death.
WRONGFUL DEATH: Attorney’s Role
Part of a wrongful death attorney’s job can be to help surviving family members through the grieving process by informing them of what is normal grief and to help them protect themselves and their families from certain negative consequences of grief.
What is “Normal” Grieving Behavior?
As mentioned earlier, each individual’s response to the loss of a loved one will be unique and personal to that individual. Nevertheless, there are certain symptoms or feelings that many grieving individuals share. These include:
- Feeling as if you are in a dream, or that you will “wake up” and the deceased will be alive;
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness;
- Feeling as if you are “losing your mind” or that you cannot concentrate;
- Loss of interest in work or hobbies that you once enjoyed;
- Loss of hope for the future;
- Feeling that you are out of control.
Disruption of Personal Relationships
Individuals who are married and/or who have children may experience disruptions in their home life. A sudden and unexpected loss can create an emotional wedge between a husband and wife if both grieve in their own ways and do not communicate with one another about their needs. Sexual intimacy may suffer. If the couple has children, children can exacerbate these problems in the home by asking innocent but hurtful questions about why the deceased is no longer around. Parents may also withdraw from their children or become overly harsh and critical.
The Effects of Grief Often Linger
What is more, grief is likely to return over the years around certain times of the year. It is common for individuals to appear fine throughout the year but then become sullen and depressed around other times of the year like:
- Birthdays and anniversaries;
- Life events like weddings, baptisms, graduations, and baby showers;
- Family events and gatherings.
Managing Grief over Time
The effects of grief never truly disappear from a person’s life: rather, over time the person learns to manage his or her emotions so that he or she can function once more and complete necessary tasks even if he or she lacks the personal motivation or desire to do these tasks.
Communicating Grief in a Wrongful Death Claim
If you pursue a wrongful death case against the individual or entity who caused your loved one’s death, the judge or jury will need to be able to catch a glimpse of your inner world now that the deceased is gone. Your attorney can help you prepare to discuss your feelings and emotions in a way that is comfortable to you but that communicates how great a loss you have experienced. The goal is for the jury to be able to view your loved one’s death through your own eyes and experience.
Experiencing Grief: Loss of a Loved One?
If your loved one has been killed because of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, call me now for a free consultation. I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer since 1982. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400 in Sacramento or 800-404-5400 Elsewhere.