Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

For some, however, feelings of guilt surface when a parent dies, especially when the relationship was strained prior to the crash. Feelings of relief, freedom, or distance are not uncommon and are normal reactions. In fact, you may experience a lot of different emotions that

Grief is not an event but a process.

vary in strength. Feelings such as anger, sadness, guilt, and confusion are all a part of the grieving process and may come and go. Grief is not an event but a process of

experiencing the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual effects of a death or other loss. Grief reactions are common to most people, although each person grieves in their own way and in their own time.

Spousal/Partner Grief

It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of pain associated with the traumatic death of a loved one, especially when the loved one is your spouse or life partner. When grieving the death of a spouse or life partner, you may experience feelings of being entirely alone and incomplete. The sense of having lost a central part of yourself is painful and may seem numbing at times. Your world may seem strange and wrong. At times, you are not sure how to cope with life in general. Sometimes you may not want to try. These feelings are normal and should be expected. When a spouse or life partner dies, you lose the love of your life, the person on whom you relied for physical and emotional support. On a practical level, there may be many tasks and needs that now may be left undone. Learning and fulfilling those roles, alone and unsupported, can be an overwhelming task in itself. Losing Your Best Friend/Partner You may feel as though you have lost your best friend. When your spouse has also been your best friend, you experience a loss that has many parts. You have lost the companion with whom you shared activities. Even if they did not participate, he or she acknowledged it and accepted your needs.


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