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How to cope with sudden loss of a loved one during the holidays

The holidays can be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. If an unexpected event occurs that causes your stress level to increase, you might not feel like celebrating at all. For instance, many New Jersey residents have lost their jobs unexpectedly during the holidays. It's understandable that such an event would put a damper on holiday joy.

While dying is merely just a part of life, when a loved one's death comes suddenly, it can be tough to cope. If you are getting ready for the holidays or at a gathering with family and friends, and you receive a phone call to inform you that your spouse, child or parent was in an accident, you might feel like the earth itself is dropping out from underneath your feet.

The first holiday is always the hardest

Perhaps you lost a loved one several months ago and this is going to be your first holiday season without him or her. You might not even feel like cooking or having guests over that day. Then again, some people take comfort in being surrounded by those they care about most when they are mourning the loss of another person in their lives.

There's no right or wrong way to mourn, so the best thing you can do is allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling, and go from there. If you want to put up a Christmas tree, for instance, go right ahead. Should you decide to do without a tree this year, that's fine, too.

If another person caused your loved one's death

There are many drunk drivers on the road during the holidays. In fact, all year long, driver intoxication is a problem throughout the country. Drunk driving accidents that result in fatality are especially tragic because they are usually easily preventable. It's understandable if you feel frustrated or angry.

Honor your loved one's memory

Maybe you're not feeling up to fully decorating your house or carrying out your usual family traditions. Instead, you might consider displaying a few photos of your beloved family member who died, then adding a string of twinkle lights for a special touch. Whatever helps you cope and helps you honor your loved one's memory is okay.

Moving on in life

It's definitely a lot easier said than done to come to terms with the sudden death of a loved one, especially if you're trying to navigate your first holiday season without him or her. Sometimes, talking to someone you trust can help alleviate the burden of sorrow. You might also consider joining a support group where members can relate to what you've been through.

Many New Jersey residents channel their energy into seeking justice on behalf of their deceased family members. This is often the case when driver negligence or recklessness was directly responsible for a loved one's death.

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