grief and death

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Grief & Loss

The Healing Process: Anticipated Versus Sudden Loss

Sudden or shocking losses--due to events like crimes, accidents, suicide, or sudden heart attack--can be traumatic. There is no way to prepare. No time to say good-bye. These losses can challenge your sense of security and confidence in the predictability of life. You may experience symptoms such as sleep disturbance, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, feelings of isolation, or anxiety.

Anticipated losses--like a terminal illness-may give you more time to prepare for the loss. You will have a chance to say good-bye and clean up unfinished business with the other person. The actual time of the death will still have an emotional impact, but if you have used the time prior to the death to begin to grieve for your loss, recovery after the death could be faster and easier.