Car AccidentsWrongful DeathCoping with the Wrongful Death of a Spouse Following a Car Accident

May 2, 20240

Losing a spouse is one of the most devastating things that can happen to someone. When that loss comes suddenly and unexpectedly as the result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the grief and pain can be nearly unbearable. Not only are you dealing with incredible grief and the logistical challenges of life without your life partner, but the wrongful nature of their death also brings up feelings of injustice, anger, and a desire for answers. Navigating the legal process surrounding a wrongful death suit compounds all of these difficulties.

It is an understatement to say that coping after the wrongful death of your spouse in a car accident will be extremely difficult. The grieving process takes time, and there is no set timeline or perfect way to grieve.

Here are some tips that may help you cope during this tremendously difficult time.

Allow Yourself to Fully Feel the Grief

Losing your spouse suddenly is a shocking and traumatic thing to experience. In the aftermath of their death, you may feel overwhelmed by your emotions or find it hard to even process what happened. Give yourself permission to fully feel your grief – the sadness, anger, confusion, loneliness, and whatever other emotions arise. Don’t bottle up your feelings or try to suppress them; this will only prolong the grieving process. Cry, scream, journal, create art – do whatever helps you express the intensity of your grief. Seek out grief counseling or support groups where you can connect with others experiencing similar trauma. Sharing your story can help.

Take Care of Yourself Physically

Grieving is emotionally and physically exhausting. Your body is going through as much stress as your mind. Make an extra effort to care for your physical needs as you grieve: get enough sleep, eat regular healthy meals, hydrate frequently, and get some gentle exercise like walking. Avoid using alcohol or drugs to numb your pain. You’ll need your physical strength to weather this devastating storm. If you’re having trouble caring for yourself, ask a friend or family member to help meet your basic needs.

Create a Support System

Don’t try to go through this alone. Surround yourself with a strong support system of family, friends, grief counselors, clergy members, and any other people you trust to be there for you.

Let people know specifically what you need, whether it’s a listening ear, distractions and fun activities, help with errands, or anything else. Accepting support is not weakness – it gives you the sustenance you need to get through each day.

Memorialize Your Spouse

Do things to honor your spouse’s memory and process your grief. This will look different for everyone. You may want to create a memory book with pictures, write letters to your spouse expressing how much you miss them, visit meaningful places you frequented, plant a tree in their honor, or set up a scholarship fund in their name. Hold a memorial service with close family and friends. Spend time reflecting on your favorite memories. Memorializing your spouse can help provide closure.

Find an Outlet for Your Anger

A wrongful death elicits intense anger at the injustice done to you and your spouse. This is normal, but you need a healthy outlet for that anger. Channel your anger into exercise like boxing, running, kickboxing. Write rage-filled letters you never send. Go to counseling. Support groups can also help normalize and work through your anger. Don’t turn to violence or revenge.

Establish New Routines and Rituals

The daily routines you shared with your spouse are now painfully empty. Fill that void by establishing new routines and rituals that focus on self-care and moving forward. Maybe you start writing in a journal every morning, take up a new exercise routine, spend extra time with friends, or join a local group related to one of your interests. New rituals like visiting your spouse’s grave can also help you feel connected. Resuming routines and creating rituals provides stability and purpose during a time of devastating loss.

Explore Legal Options

Pursuing the legal process after losing a spouse to a wrongful death accident provides a sense of justice, closure, and meaning to the tragedy. Consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as you are able after the accident to understand your options. Though no amount of money can ever make up for your loss, a settlement or court award acknowledges the injustice done and can provide financial resources as you put your life back together.

The wrongful death of a spouse leaves an enormous, painful void. Speak to us if you need help securing compensation for your loss.

Visit our office at 700 Bishop St, Ste 2100, Honolulu, HI, 96813.

Call us today for a free consultation on (808) 745-1592.

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