An unexpected death can be earth shattering. The suddenness of the loss is often destabilizing and traumatizing, and the brain’s ability to keep up with and make sense of the information at hand is overwhelming.
As you grieve, it is important to know there are actual physiological responses to grief. You are NOT going crazy. It is equally important to understand the normalcy of a wide range of emotions, feelings and thoughts that come as a result of this very difficult time. Finally, it is imperative that we practice self-care in a way that ensures our minds, bodies and spirits are both supported and nourished.
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, the impact can be very traumatic. Depending on your relationship, the manner of death and the age of your loved one, to just name a few things, many different thoughts, questions, feelings and emotions will come to the surface. Your brain will work to make sense of the loss and your emotions can range from very deep sadness to absolute rage.
Know that how you respond to your grief, and how you grieve, is unique to you. Know that it is important to identify your needs, share them, and ensure these needs are met. This may mean finding time alone or setting boundaries. This may mean ensuring you are surrounded by friends. You know best what you need.
With this in mind, I have put together resources and ideas for support that may be useful. I strongly support and promote mindfulness activities such as affirmations, deep breathing, vagus nerve exercises, meditation, physical exercise such as walking and yoga and choosing an anti-inflammatory diet as ways to engage the whole self in healing.