You might never return to normal after finding your loved one's dead body. It was shocking, devastating and left you in a complete daze: the discovery of your loved one’s corpse can be traumatic for anyone who has ever seen or encountered it.
Grieving can be an emotional roller coaster for family members of the deceased. Finding a body will only add to their suffering as they begin to process what has happened and come up with ways that they’ll need to cope without this person in their life, which could sometimes take months or years if death was unexpected.
When you lose a loved one, the image of their face will never fade from your memory. You'll also experience symptoms like depression and grief due to this loss.
What to Do Immediately After You Find a Loved One’s Dead Body
You may feel anxious and confused after you are traumatized. These reactions are normal responses to trauma, but they will probably fade away as time passes.
It is difficult to manage stress after a traumatic event. Some people react with shock and feel nothing, while others have an immediate breakdown or violent reactions that help cope with the situation. The shutting down of emotions and reactions may be helpful in stressful situations as it helps you deal with them more easily
Here are a few tips:
When you find your loved one dead, immediately call 911. They will help guide you through what to do next and send someone over if necessary. You may react in ways that leave you numb or unable to respond when finding a loved one deceased; this is normal.
Even if your loved one is deceased, paramedics may still come over to make a formal pronouncement of death. They might also leave the body where they found it until after the police have had an opportunity to check for foul play or other causes of natural deaths not occurring at home with you present.
2.Notify family and friends immediately
Even if finding your loved one dead was expected, you'll want to get in touch with friends and family immediately. Advise them of the death so they can help support you through this tough time.
Lean on someone for support as you figure out what to do next. You'll also need a friend nearby while your emotions are raw, so ask others who care about you over tomorrow morning and get their input before working through the immediate aftermath of this situation alone.
3. Allow Someone Else to Take Over
If your loved one has died, the officials investigating or processing their death will have many questions for you to answer. You might not be in a state of mind where you are able to give them all the answers they need and deserve.
After a traumatic event, you have to process your feelings and take time for yourself. There are many ways that people respond after trauma. You might be surprised by how different each person's reaction is!
4. Understand the Shock You’ve Had
What you just saw can be confusing and distressing. Sit down, let the shock of your discovery absorb. Give yourself some time to process what you experienced!
You will likely enter into shock immediately after finding your loved one. You'll need some time to process the sight of them dying and yourself suddenly becoming an orphan (if the loved one was a parent) in addition to taking care of practical matters like calling for help or making arrangements with authorities. It can take anywhere from a few minutes up until several hours before you recover enough from this initial state of shock that it's possible for rational thinking again.
5. Talk About it To Someone
The bereavement process is a different experience for everyone. It can be helpful to talk about what you’ve seen and gone through with someone who cares in your life, or refrain from giving statements to the police until you have had time to reflect on everything that has happened around this death.
Before saying your final goodbyes to a loved one, ask for some time alone and allow yourself the chance to process all of that information.
6. Grieve in Your Own Way
A loved one's death is an emotionally draining event. At first, you might feel shock and disbelief but as the news sinks in help arrives and your emotions start to rise up from within yourself.
It's normal to feel like you can't let go of your loved one. Let out all those emotions and tears, it will help in the long run!
Discovering a Loved One’s Dead Body Months or Years Later
After finding a dead loved one, you'll need help understanding how to cope with the death. You may blame yourself and feel guilt because of what happened, but don't do this! Be kind to yourself after going through such an awful event—don’t let it drag you down further.
It's important that you find ways to cope with and deal with grief after loss. Doing so can minimize the negative effects of mental illness or emotional damage, which can cause long-term issues in coping for many years into the future.
Here are some things that you can do to help you successfully cope with the aftermath:
7. Put together a support system
The psychological impacts of finding a loved one's dead body may be intense and long-lasting. It is important to seek support from mental health providers who can help you cope with the trauma in healthy ways, such as through therapy or other treatment that could last for years after this event occurs.
You can start your support system at home with a few close friends. You should also consider adding people to the group who have lived through similar experiences as you, in case they are needed for extra help and assistance.
8. Find personalized support in a counselor
If you’re struggling to process your loved one's death, a support group might be helpful. There is no right or wrong way of grieving and it can take months before the pain begins subsiding so feel free to reach out whenever necessary. Once you are ready, find someone that has gone through something similar like an online chat room where survivors share their stories with each other for camaraderie between those who understand what they're going through best without trying too much in prying them open about their experiences when needed because everyone grieves differently depending on how well known this person was within your life as well as if there were any unresolved issues then try getting into therapy which could help uncover some hidden feelings buried deep down inside yourself.
It's important to be cautious when meeting people online. It could potentially lead you down a dark path if not careful, so try and get to know them before opening up with all your innermost thoughts and feelings. Some people tend prey on the vulnerabilities of others during their times of loss in order to gain trust quickly for malicious reasons which will only leave you more scarred than what was already caused by death or rejection from loved ones.
9. Start a journal
Grief is a very difficult process that often leaves those going through it feeling trapped and alone. However, writing down your feelings can help you deal with them better as well as get the support of others who understand what its like to be in this situation. You might even consider reading out loud from your journal at meetings for other people facing similar problems or sit-downs where there are professionals available to listen and advise on how best handle grief's effects on our lives.
I think it's important to get your grief out on paper and start processing the trauma you've experienced. I would recommend reading your journal aloud at a support group or other individuals who have pledged their commitment in helping you process what happened.
10.Understand the grieving process
Grief usually comes in stages. Grieving people go through feelings of disbelief, sadness and anger as they struggle to accept the loss that made them grieve.
The grief process following the death of a loved one can be overwhelming for many. According to experts, it is crucial that you read up on how this phenomenon works and what symptoms are commonly seen in different stages of bereavement (i.e., anger; guilt). In addition to mental well-being, physical signs such as insomnia or loss of appetite may also manifest during this time frame. There's no set timeline but remember not too rush yourself through the grieving period so that your wounds have ample opportunity heal sufficiently enough before moving forward with life again.
11. Seek Professional help
Over time, you might notice a reduction of your grief. Monitor how much power and energy that you have to get through the day as well as what feelings are coming up for you.
If you notice that your depression is never ending and it's impacting how well you function in life, this may be a sign to consider seeking out the help of an online therapist or counselor.
Coping with Finding a Loved One Dead
When you find or see the dead body of your loved one, it is an experience that will affect how you feel and think for the rest of your life. You may struggle to erase any images from your mind no matter how much time has passed since seeing them. If therapy does not help after a few weeks or months, seek out more options before giving up completely on healing yourself from this trauma.
Every loss is a difficult one, but it does not mean you will never get over the pain. As time goes by, we all become better at coping with our losses and moving forward in life because of them.
Writers of Great Eulogies for over thirty years.
A primary source for material used in this article is from Joincake.com
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and is probably the most prolific eulogy writer (and, no doubt, the best) anywhere. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones.