What to Do When a Loved One Dies

what to do when a loved one dies

Deep Eddy Psychotherapy’s Chief Clinical Officer provided an expert interview in response to the tragic loss of a local student. We wanted to take the opportunity to share the interview as well as offer some advice and tips for people who may be coping with the loss of a classmate, student, friend, or loved one.

If you need help, we are here. Please use the chat below or the contact form to get started.

What to Do When a Loved One Dies

The death of a loved one, especially death by suicide, can be a devastating and traumatic experience for anyone who knew them. It can trigger a range of complex and intense emotions, such as shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, loneliness, and confusion. You might wonder why your friend, family member, coworker, or even classmate chose to end their life, what signs you missed, or what you could have done differently. You might also feel isolated or stigmatized by others who don’t understand or avoid talking about suicide.

If you are struggling with grief and loss, you are not alone. There are ways to cope and heal from this tragedy, and to honor their memory. 

Here are some tips that might help you:

Accept your emotions.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and no set timeline for how long it will take. Whatever you are feeling is valid and normal, and you don’t have to hide or suppress it. Allow yourself to express your feelings in healthy ways, such as talking, writing, crying, or creating art. But don’t let yourself get stuck in grief – make sure to live, too. That brings us to our next tip… 

Take care of your body. 

Grieving can be physically and emotionally exhausting, so it’s important to look after your well-being. Try to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as hobbies, music, nature, or meditation.

Seek support from loved ones.

Reach out to people who care about you and can offer comfort and understanding. This might include your family, friends, teachers, counselors, or spiritual leaders. You can also join a support group for survivors of suicide loss, where you can share your experiences and feelings with others who have gone through something similar. You can find local or online support groups through organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or the Alliance of Hope.

Find ways to remember. 

The person who died by suicide was more than their final act. They had a life full of hopes, dreams, talents, and achievements. They also had challenges and struggles that might have been hard to see or understand. Try to remember them as a whole person, not just as a victim of suicide. Celebrate their life by doing things that they enjoyed or that remind you of them. You can also create a memorial for them, such as a scrapbook, a video tribute, a scholarship fund, or a community service project. If nothing else, take a moment to reach out to someone you love to let them know you care. 

Seek professional help. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your grief, or having thoughts of harming yourself or others, please seek professional help as soon as possible. A psychologist or other mental health provider can help you cope with your emotions, process your loss, and find healthy coping strategies. You can easily find a therapist in Texas who accepts insurance here at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy, a leading mental health practice that offers therapy for adults, children, couples, and groups. 

But, what’s the best way to choose a grief therapist?

How to Choose the Right Grief Therapist

Grief can affect your mental and physical health, your relationships, your work, and your sense of meaning and purpose. While grief is a natural and normal response to loss, sometimes it can become overwhelming and interfere with your ability to cope and heal.

That’s why seeking professional help from a grief therapist can be a beneficial step in your recovery process. A grief therapist is a mental health professional who specializes in helping people who are grieving. They can provide you with a safe and supportive space to express your emotions, process your loss, and find ways to adapt to life without your loved one.

But how do you find a grief therapist who is right for you? There are many factors to consider when choosing a grief therapist, such as their qualifications, experience, approach, availability, cost, and compatibility. Here are some tips to help you with your search:

  1. Consult your insurance directory. If you have health insurance, you may want to start by looking for a grief therapist who is covered by your plan. Here’s the link to the Blue Cross Blue Shield mental health directory. Using insurance can help you save money and reduce the hassle of dealing with out-of-pocket expenses. You can check your insurance company’s website or call them to find out which therapists are in their network, how many sessions they cover per year, and what co-pays or deductibles you may have to pay.
  2. Ask for referrals. Another way to find a grief therapist is to ask for recommendations from people you trust, such as friends, family members, doctors, clergy, or other professionals who have experience with taking part in grief counseling. They may be able to share their personal experiences and opinions about the therapists they have worked with or know of. However, keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another, so you still need to do your own research and evaluation before making a decision.
  3. Ask questions. Once you have narrowed down your list of potential grief therapists, it’s time to contact them and ask some questions that can help you evaluate their suitability for you. Ask them how they work with clients who are grieving and what kind of outcomes they expect from therapy. Here are a few specific questions to ask:
    1. How do you help people heal from grief and loss? 
    2. What are your top 2-3 tips for people who have lost a loved one?
    3. What is the best way to contact you outside of session for things like scheduling or updating my information? 
    4. What resources do you recommend I use to help myself between sessions? Books, podcasts, etc.? 
  4. Trust your gut. Research shows that the most important factor in therapy is the relationship between you and the therapist. Listen to your intuition and feelings about them. Ask yourself:
    1. How comfortable did you feel talking to them? 
    2. How well did they listen and understand you? 
    3. How confident did they sound about their ability to help you? 
    4. How compatible were their values and beliefs with yours? 
    5. How hopeful did they make you feel about your recovery? 

Ready to get started? Contact Deep Eddy’s scheduling team today to get connected to the best grief therapists in Texas.

Go deep with one of our therapists.