Imagine going out to eat with your family and enjoying a wonderful meal, full of laughter and nostalgia, and smiles all around. You finish up, leave the restaurant, and go to your separate cars to go home for the night, calling and hooting out your goodbyes and I love yous as you leave. While you arrived home safely, unfortunately, your sister and her young daughter did not. A truck driver, falling asleep at the wheel, blazed through a red light and took the lives of two promising individuals.
You were close to your sister. She was about to graduate from college with her Master’s the next month and the entire family was so excited for the life she was creating, as well as the house that she had just purchased. Her daughter, only six years old, loved ice cream and riding horses, and she dreamt of becoming a horse trainer. She used to follow you around with a riding crop, begging you to be her horse, when she was just a toddler. Now, she’d never get to fulfill that dream.
The process of grieving this tragic loss, along with funeral proceedings and the distribution of personal items, is incredibly tough to get through, but you try to put on a brave face for your family. With each moment that passes, however, you are reminded of how much you have lost due to the actions of a selfish and unthinking person.
Due to the stress, you have to quit your job, and your career prospects look grim. Your family, smaller now, eats every Sunday at the restaurant where you were all together the very last time, and it’s obvious that no one will be the same after this event. Your mother develops mental health problems due to stress but refuses to get help, telling the family that your sister has not died, just gone on vacation. The loss obviously has hit her hardest, and you’re unsure of what to do.
No one should have to go through something like this, but too many people do each day. In a world where it is increasingly easier to travel and stay connected, tragic accidents will always happen. Seemingly random events like a drunk driver on the road can change lives in dramatic ways and can put intense pressure on a person’s mind.
The Psychology of Loss
When people think of grief, their first thought is often of the seven stages that have become popularized. The shock comes first as if this cannot be real, and then the pain comes when the reality of the situation hits. After that is anger and bargaining, where you try to come to terms with the fact that you will never see your loved one again. Depression hits after that as the cold reality sets in, and oftentimes this stage lasts for quite a long time. Eventually, however, you’ll hit an upturn, where things finally feel okay. This leads to reconstruction and finally, acceptance.
When you lose a loved one in a tragic and sudden accident, however, the stages of grief may not be so easy to follow. Anger will often dominate in a situation like this, and it may seem as if all hope is lost. It isn’t, though. While grief may be one of the hardest emotional battles to fight as a human being, it does not last forever, and eventually, the sun will shine.
In this situation, that hope came when justice was found. After a failed criminal trial, the person responsible for your sister’s death was found to be guilty of wrongful death and their license to drive a truck was taken away. Despite the pain of losing your sister, your family will now be able to cover your mother’s medical bills as well as help you through this hard emotional time. While a personal injury case may not have brought your sister back, at least this negligent person will never be able to injure someone in the same way again.
The Road Towards Happiness
If this story sounds familiar to you, don’t give up hope. Grief is a long and hard process, but there is always a light at the end of a tunnel. Losing a loved one in a tragic accident can change your life entirely, but it doesn’t have to be anything but pain. You deserve happiness and hope for the future, and working through grief will get you there.