Coping with Traumatic Death as a Result of Underage Drinking

Regrets are normal, but you cannot change the past. Some people find it helpful to write letters to their loved ones to help them say their goodbyes. As difficult as it is, it is important to look rationally at how your beliefs make you feel guilty. You may, indeed, be responsible for some component of your loved one’s death. If so, acknowledge it and see if you can find a way to forgive yourself. If you made a bad judgment, you probably made the best one you knew how to make at the time. Try not to exaggerate your role in your loved one’s death. In many cases, other factors played a role in your loved one’s death. Talking with others who have some understanding of your experience can help you look at your guilt realistically. It will be hard work for them and for you. Feeling less guilty will not take away your sadness or your anger, but it can help relieve some of the stress you are feeling due to that guilt. Faith/Philosophy of Life People who have not focused on God or a belief in an afterlife before may do so in the wake of trauma. Likewise, people whose faith plays a significant part in their lives may now start to question their faith following the death of a loved one due to underage drinking. You may have been told that your loved one’s death was God’s will; you may have been told you should forgive. Working through issues of faith may take time and can be another difficult component of grief and sometimes touching base with those connected with your faith can also add to the frustration or bring strength. Because each person’s experience is so different, surround yourself with the support that you need at the time that you need it. Complicated Grief After the death of a loved one due to an unforeseen tragedy, grief reactions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear are normal. It’s important to know, however, that more

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