Coping with Traumatic Death

Denial Denial can be a wonderful thing. It is the mind’s way of buffering the full impact of a trauma until it can be absorbed. Upon learning that a loved one has been killed, most people are too weak to undertake the overwhelming task of grieving. When you heard of your loved one’s death, you may have gone into shock. Going into shock is something like feeling the effects of a general anesthetic. With the help of a quick spurt of adrenaline and other chemicals in your brain, your initial response may have been “fight” or “flight” or “freeze.” Fighters sometimes scream so they won’t hear the message or physically attack the person who has delivered the bad news. Those whose reaction is “flight” may faint or run to try to escape the pain. People who freeze may not be able to move or speak due to their reaction to the news. Regardless of the initial impact, if you are like most people, you soon found yourself in a state of numbness. Looking back now, you may wonder how you remained calm. You may have completed some tasks that now seem impossible. You probably have a hard time remembering exactly what you did during those first few days. Psychological and Emotional Responses to Traumatic Grief

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