Coping with Sudden Death

Expert advice and grief support groups to help you cope with the sudden death of a loved one

When a loved one dies suddenly, the bereaved often struggle to cope. The grieving process can be long and complicated as survivors are overwhelmed by the grief that follows an unexpected loss. If someone important to you has died unexpectedly, LegacyConnect has resources to help. Click on the links below to learn more about surviving suicide and unexpected loss, or to connect with other grievers who are coping with sudden death.

Grief Support Groups and Discussions:

Find a grief support group

Join a Discussion: The sudden loss of someone close to you

Join a Discussion: Losing someone you love to suicide

Join a Discussion: Lost in the line of duty


The Sudden Loss of a Loved One:

Sudden Death

The Grief Experience

The Purpose of Grief and Mourning

Myths About Grief

Appropriate Expectations You Can Have for Yourself in Grief

Loss of Our Assumptive World

Family Reorganization After a Loss

Grief Changes You

Embrace the Mystery

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Art of Losing

Laughter in the Face of Tears

Your Spiritual Toolbox

Bereavement Groups Can Help


What to Do After a Death

Obtaining a Death Certificate

Accessing Social Media Profiles After a Death

Accessing the Deceased's Financial Accounts

What Is Probate?

Who's in charge when I die?

• Giving Sorrow Words: Why Memorial Services Are Important

Funeral Etiquette and Planning

 Being a Pallbearer

Giving a Eulogy

Obituary Writing 101

• Who to Include in the Obituary

• Belated Notifications of Death

• How to Write Thank You Notes After a Death


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Comment by Cristina Arias on July 25, 2016 at 11:56am

Sorry I sent the wrong info on the death of my 4 year old son. It was not 4 years ago. It happened long time ago. He was 4 years old. This is what I meant. Sorry for the mistake.

Comment by Cristina Arias on July 25, 2016 at 11:55am

I have lost 2 of my sons by death. One was a little one only 4 years ago. The other one  was 20 years ago in a car accident. He died with his girlfriend. The passing of the time has helped me a bit but they are still present in my life wishing they were with me. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Please let me know if you would like to join a group I am going to start to meet in person 2 times per month.

Comment by e.SORENSEN on December 29, 2013 at 1:37am

 P. S loss has been part of my journey....but it has also shown me what is precious,

small miracles happen every day if we are open to them...I am really trying to filter out the negative  with the positive,  If I can only get some sleep!  


Comment by e.SORENSEN on December 29, 2013 at 1:27am

I found my best friend in his home, with blood all around,  He was gone but 911 said i should do cpr which i did but it was too late.  He always feared dying alone...I should have been there with him.  I was detained for 4 hours.  It was a crime scene but 4 hours determined to be a natural death.  I was glad to hear that at least.  I can't understand how a good man would be left to die alone given his faith. 

I am feeling I failed him, I am feeling survivors guilt, Cant sleep, unfinished business with his death that I cannot get back.  Getting some help, but will it really help?

PTSS has only been compounded...but i must go on and continue to be in service for those who need help.  And I will continue, however low or depressed i feel!

Comment by Debbie Black on January 4, 2013 at 10:49pm

I lost my son on May 6, 2012 suddenly by hand's that didn't care about him; his parent's or daughter. He would still be alive today if he would of got the medical help that he , a nurse and other perople who ask to see him A>S>A>P.  His Birthday is next saturday (12) and I, his daughter are going to let go 29 balloons go in his honor; I am still remembering what he always told me " Stay strong Mom and I love you". That's what gets me through everyday and to get out of bed to go to work.

Comment by Florence Nady on October 15, 2012 at 9:59am

I lost my sister, my better half, my best friend, my everything, last year. I loved (still do) her so much, we did a lot together. At a sudden she's gone and I'm alone.

I was devastated. My life changed. All my happiness and joy was gone and I had lost interest in everything. We did so much together that everything reminded me of her.

Thanks of a professional online coach (recommend you Your24hcoach), I called anytime I needed to talk me every thought off my chest, I recognized that you have to look forward. Sad to say, but you can't change what happened. Life, despite it's certain cruelties, goes on. You can't stop living because of a loss of a beloved one. I thought of my sister. What would she want me to do? She loved me so much she wouldn't want me to stop enjoying my life. You have to appreciate to have the chance to have the possibility to enjoy your life furthermore.

It's a horrible period a loving person has to experience. Nevertheless, we have to accept it as part of our lifes. I can only recommend you to seek professional help if you can't see any betterment. They can help you process your thoughts and feelings. You can talk anything off your chest.

If you really loved what you lost, it won't stop hurting. Neverthless, you have to try to transform all the wonderful memories in positive power. Don't stop enjoying your life! Your beloved one would ask you to do so!

Comment by Forever~missed on September 16, 2012 at 1:47am
3 weeks ago i llost my best friend of 4 years to a motorcycle accident. She had right of way and according to witnessess, a guy in a double cab hit her full speed. Myself and my friend were extremely close and shared everything. My family took her in 3 and a half years ago and she was the daughter and sister we never had. I am finding it very difficult to cope and I'm in disbelief because I can't believe it happened. I have lost interest in everything I enjoyed and the pain, frustration and hurt wont go away!
Comment by JoAnn Mc Neill on August 25, 2012 at 6:30pm

My sister my heart my voice of reason Janet Monroe Pottorff was murdered by her husband July 18 2012 ...her loss is effecting my life in such a profound way I cant even express the emptiness I have in my heart it is so diffucult to even talk about, and the wait for the trial and grand jury if it even takes place stays on my mind always... This whole horrible thing has affected every person that knew and loved her.. I really am soo horribly lost and broken I dont know how to find my way back. I have lost so many in my life my father Don Monroe to suicide in 1976, My soul mate my husband Ric McNeill  in 1990 to cancer, My oldest brother James Monroe in 1994 to Aides and my beautiful little grandson in 2007 so I know about greiving but this is so raw and so painful i pysically ache...

Comment by Julie Villa Velasquez on June 19, 2011 at 2:47am
"RUDY GONZALES VILLA"  my little brother passed away at home at the age of 42., he overdosed off pain killers(pills).  It was an unexpectant death which has left me so very confused and so emotionized that ever since May 2,2011, that particular day was the hardest day of all since my father pass on in 1989.  Still trying to cope and understand some of life choices we have to deal with. Sometimes they may come easy, soft and gentle but sometimes and most of those times are heartbreaking, cryful , hurtful and so much saddness.  My dear mother who lives very sad and depress everyday since then she's had a stroke and has became paralaze from half of her entire body she' soon to be 80 who I take care of now has became very hard for me to deal with.  But I know I can do it myself it just takes a little understamding and coping and accepting these changes in life we come to experience. but one thing for sure I tell you that I very well make sure everyday that goes by I let my mom know how much I Love Her and how much I need her with me, so that she can give me some strenght and courage to move-on and me as well to her. I will never forget you brother you will always be remembered and never be forgotten and someday we will see each other again and be together you'll see.  ALWAYS AND FOREVER RUDY DEAD OR ALIVE  Love always your big sister Julie
Comment by Julie Villa Velasquez on June 19, 2011 at 2:32am
On December 16, 1989, my father who I very loved so much passed away at home and left my heart feeling so lost, and empty and very confused all at once.  When he left it seemed as if he took a big chunk of my heart along with him. Those days were very hard for me his oldest daughter who was close to him being his caretaker and all.  Everything else didn't seem to matter anymore, all I wanted was to be left alone staring at the wall or ceilings. Well life does go on whether you want it to or not you must learn to cope with it but when Father's Day comes along or Christmas or even his Birthday it just isn't the same anymore although on those such occassions I have managed to visit him at the cementary on those special days indicated above. I miss him so much you just don't know how much and how much I have needed him so. Rest in Peace  Papi Domingo Zapata Villa
Comment by Elizabeth Hardy on June 10, 2011 at 10:15am
My son was killed in a motorcycle accident, this man was speeding to get to work and he rear-ended my son bike and killed him, this man only received a speeding ticket? This man has gotten to live a life everyday and yet my son is dead, My life has change so much because of this man, what I thought was real is not and what I trusted in is a farce, I miss my son so much!!!!
Comment by Martha Bellezza on January 9, 2011 at 9:31am

It is 8 months that my husband passed away due to an assault that was made on him....The holidays were exceptionally hard for me...The fellow that did this to him is out on bail and got to have his holidays with his family......I miss my husband so much and am having a hard time understanding why this had to happen......My life is never going to be the same....

Comment by Daisy Jane Hagie on January 7, 2011 at 1:12pm
Sometimes, when I think about you, I can hear your voice, and feel your hug. I know that you aren't in anymore pain, but...I MISS YOU!!
Comment by Frances on July 28, 2010 at 10:17pm
I lost my brother two years ago, he took his own life. Everyday is hard things seem to get better then something happens and you think about the day you got that phone call. I have to say that was the worst day of my life. I remember like yesterday how it felt to hear the words that my brother was gone. I miss and love him everyday.

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