How To Cope With An Unexpected Death

couple at a funeral

An unexpected death can be very difficult to come to terms with. The emotions that come to the surface can be strong and take you by surprise. It’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions. We put together a few tips which might help cope with the grieving process, whether you’re experiencing it yourself or supporting a loved one through a difficult time.

Feel Your Feelings

There’s no right or wrong way to feel when you’re grieving. Don’t try to suppress your emotions, you may find that you feel worse for it. It’s normal to feel sad, and sometimes you need to get it all out and have a good cry. Some people even find it beneficial to go somewhere remote and scream!

If you struggle to cope with the feelings of sadness after an unexpected death, make sure you lean on your friends and family. Many people want to avoid socialising when they’re sad, but this can have a detrimental effect. Reach out for support when you feel you need it, but do allow yourself to have some alone time if you’re able to manage it.


You may not be ready to talk about it yet, and that’s okay. Give your loved ones a heads up if you’d rather not discuss the deceased, as they may not know what your preference is. On the contrary, you may want to talk all about them and keep their memory alive. Make sure that the person who you’re talking to is comfortable with discussing the departed. If they also knew them, they may not be ready to talk yet.

Take Your Time

It’s normal to have a physical reaction to an unexpected death. You may lose your appetite, feel lethargic and not want to perform simple tasks. If you don’t feel like eating, it’s important to still try and consume small amounts. The nutrients will help you to feel a little better. Opt for something simple, even a ready meal will do if you’re not feeling up to cooking.

Your sleep may also be affected when you’re grieving. If you’re struggling to rest, it’s still important to try. Stick to your regular bed time, even if you’re not falling asleep. Rest is good for the mind and body. Allow yourself to take it easy and have naps during the day if you need them.

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