Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

Helping With the Funeral or a Memorial A full church or funeral home means a great deal to the surviving family. Support is crucial during memorial rituals. Members of the family may not see you individually, but their hearts will be warmed when they see your name on the guest register. Although flowers hold immediate significance, memorials are longer lasting and may be more meaningful to the family as time goes on. Collect donations for a charity that held special meaning for the person who was killed. Start a community fund drive to pay for uninsured medical, funeral, and burial costs. Start a scholarship fund for a youth in your community in the name of the victim/survivor. Place a memorial sign at the site of the crash, accompanied by a meaningful vigil. Support the Family through the Criminal Justice Process If the substance impaired driver is charged, the family will be very appreciative of your interest in the progress of the case. It will also mean a lot to them if someone wants to attend the trial, or a portion of the trial as a symbol of support. Victim Impact Statements from friends and family may be requested from the victim/survivor to show how far-reaching the impact of the crime has been. Tips for Providing Ongoing Support The support of friends and family can mean a great deal to people who are dealing with traumatic grief. Without having experienced this type of grief, it can be difficult to know the right thing to do or say. These tips will help you help your loved one: • Help them understand that what they are going through is normal. • Know that their questions don’t have to be logical. • Give them the opportunity to talk about their feelings. • Let them feel good about seeking help. • Be there for them, even if it seems a long time has passed. The healing journey takes much longer than most people realize, and they can use your support.

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