Grief is difficult to navigate in any circumstances but when you lose someone suddenly and without warning there is the added layer of shock and disbelief to process. That feeling of it not being real, surely it was a dream and they will walk through the door any moment. There may also be regret, no opportunity to say goodbye and let them know how you felt about them. Sadness at the loss or even anger that they were taken away so soon.


This can feel very overwhelming and carrying such a range of mixed emotions is difficult to break down and even begin to deal with your grief. It is common to feel like there is unfinished business or loss of opportunity for things not done or said to the person. It is also common to experience feelings of blame or guilt, thinking you could have or should have known or done something to prevent it. All these feelings, albeit difficult, are normal for someone experiencing grief after a sudden loss. 


You may experience feelings of helplessness, leaving you feeling immobile or a loss of control. This in itself can feel frightening and very isolating. It could be that you are not able to begin grieving as you are experiencing shock or even just feeling completely numb. As the death is sudden this could mean legal or medical interventions are needed to establish the cause of death. All of this can mean you may not begin to grieve for sometime afterwards.


There are things you can do to help you cope and find your way through, consider sharing your feelings with family or friends or asking for practical help making arrangements or understanding next steps. Pay attention to your own physical and mental health and ensure you are looking after yourself. Be patient with yourself and do not compare your grief to other peoples. We each grieve in our own way and in our own time, only you can know if something is right for you. Seek support from others who may have experienced similar loss which will help you to feel less isolated and alone.


If you are struggling to process your loss consider joining a support group or speaking with your GP for advice on bereavement. If you feel counselling would help then please get in touch to discuss this and I would be happy to assist.