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Sudden Death and Grief

When someone we love dies, it can leave a hole in our lives that we feel may never heal. If that death is sudden and unexpected, we can feel shocked and disorientated, and we are left not knowing what to do or where to turn. Grief is one of the most painful emotions any human will ever have and, at times, it can seem overwhelming.

Some things that you may feel after the death of a loved one are:

  • Shock
  • Disbelief
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Numbness
  • Anxiety
  • Being scared
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing and fast heart rate

All of these are 'normal' feelings, and may 'come and go'.


Everyone grieves in a different way - a way that makes sense to them, and reflects the relationship that they had with the person who has died. There is no 'normal, right, or proper' way to grieve the death of a loved one.

As the shock of the death of your loved one begins to decrease a little bit, there may be some other feelings that start to appear.

Some of these things may be:

  • Difficulty sleeping, or being very tired
  • Difficulty concentrating, and being forgetful
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Tearfulness and sadness
  • You might not want to be around people
  • Changes in spiritual beliefs

All of these are 'normal' feelings.

There are some things that you can do to help yourself stay as healthy as possible during this time.

  • Even if you are tired, try to go for a walk each day
  • Try to eat healthy meals three times a day
  • Try to stay away from too much caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Talk to someone that you trust each day
  • Talk about your loved one who has died


A Victim Service advocate can give you more information about grief, and can help you to find resources that may be helpful for you. They can also help to explain, and keep you updated about, any police investigation or judicial process that may be involved in the death of your loved one. Please contact us if you'd like to talk to us.