Meeting your family’s needs after losing a loved one is a struggle. If you lose someone suddenly to a heart attack or car accident, the shock and grief can be overwhelming. The whole family will be experiencing a range of emotions, so this is a time for you to pull together and support each other. With that in mind, today I’m sharing ideas on how to care for family after experiencing death. Read on to see what advice I’d give. 

How To Care For Family After Experiencing Death

According to the Life Index Scale, losing a spouse is the most stressful experience of all. Sudden grief manifests emotional and physical symptoms such as: 

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Numbness
  • Helplessness
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Tension
  • Fatigue

You may be struggling to sleep or concentrate on simple tasks. This is a perfectly healthy grief response. While you probably don’t feel like doing much at all, you have a lot to do and think about. Particularly if you’re caring for a young family alone.

You need to be strong for your family, but you also need time to heal. If you’ve just lost the main breadwinner in your family, you have the added pressures of finding the bills and next mortgage payment.

Look After You

Self-care is crucial. Consider the following factors:

  • First and foremost, you must try to take care of yourself so you can support your family
  • Appetite-loss is typical of grief. Try to eat lots of protein and plenty of fruit. If you can’t stomach food, try making a smoothie or a protein shake. A little protein can boost your mood a little and give you energy
  • Try to get some sleep when you can. If you’re experiencing whirring thoughts, try some gentle breathing exercises, or put the radio on in the background
  • Get some exercise. Even if you don’t feel like it, go for a walk in the fresh air
  • Keep busy. Staying active and on top of your daily chores will help you to cope and prevent things from overwhelming you
  • Stay connected, the emotional support of your family and friends is most vital now.

woman hugging teenage girl - following the death of a loved one... how to care for family after experiencing death

You’ll be better able to cope and support your family if you can take care of yourself. If you are now the main caregiver in your family, self-care is vital.

Face Your Feelings

While keeping busy is better than staying in bed all day, it’s also important to acknowledge your grief. Try not to keep so busy that you suppress painful emotions as this will only prolong the grief process.

Unresolved grief can lead to anxiety and depression in the longer term. It’s crucial to feel and express the sadness and pain as it arises so you can process those emotions in a healthy manner.

Supporting Your Children

You can help your children understand death properly by giving them facts.

Young children find it difficult to understand the concept of coping with loss. Encourage them to talk about their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. You’ll be able to understand how much they understand about death so you know what else they need to learn.

Children need to understand that death is irreversible. After watching films and cartoons where people die and return, they may see death as temporary. Don’t try to hide your feelings from your children. If you need to cry, do so openly with them as you will be modeling healthy coping strategies. If you show your feelings openly, they will do.

Be open and frank about the person’s death so that they get a realistic understanding of what has happened. It’s a good idea to assume that your child may experience some guilt. Keep reassuring them that they are not responsible and that this is a part of life. 

Older children may start engaging in risky behaviors while coping with grief. They may start taking drugs or alcohol, engage in sexual activity, or get into fights. It’s crucial to encourage them to open up about their feelings and discuss any negative emotions. Perhaps encourage them to do some sports or creative activities.

Ask For Help

Call on friends and family for help if you don’t feel up to anything. You may get off-days where you don’t have the energy to do chores or deal with the deceased person’s estate. Enlist the help of a friend to help get the washing done or make dinner to give you some space.

Supporting Your Family Financially

You may have lost the main breadwinner of the family. Suddenly, you have no idea where you’ll find the money to pay the bills, buy food, and healthcare.

If your loved one died as the result of wrongful death, you may have a strong case for a compensation claim for lost income. Wrongful death is a death caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person or corporation.

Young woman stood at graveside

Types of Wrongful Death

  • Motor accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice

If your loved one died due to negligence or a deliberate attempt to cause harm, you could also sue for punitive compensation. Punitive compensation is a form of financial punishment.

What Can You Claim With a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

You will need as much financial support as possible to support your family. While no money can ever bring your loved one back, at least you can seek some justice and be able to provide essentials. If your claim is successful, you can claim damages for:

  • Costs of pursuing the claim
  • Expenses accrued while supporting the deceased person leading up to their death.
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss benefits (such as pension or medical cover)
  • For the loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical bills accrued by the deceased person before they died.
  • Loss of care
  • Reimbursement of future services that were purchased

 How To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

You have one year from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Navigating the legal system alone is complex. Hiring a decent wrongful death lawyer will:

  • Take the stress and confusion out of the legal process
  • Ensure you get the highest pay-out
  • Take less time
  • Give you time to grieve and support your family

You may feel that you can’t face any legal proceedings right now with the stress and grief you and your family are experiencing. If you have a strong case to sue in your loved one’s memory, you will be better placed to provide for your family’s future. Finally, I hope these tips on how to care for family after experiencing death have been helpful. 


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