It is bad enough to have to endure a tragedy, a personal loss, or a trauma that could have been avoided. This is known in legal terminology as “wrongful death.” The empty place in your heart that had been lovingly filled by a friend or family member feels like a black hole. There is a hollow echo where there once was laughter and loving words.
Added to that sudden emptiness is often the knowledge that the loss could have been avoided if only…
There soon comes a need to find the answers to questions such as: “Who is to blame?” “What could have prevented this tragedy?” “How do we prevent this from happening to anyone else in the future?”
Stress also accompanies the event and the ensuing days and weeks can see the impact of stress building and causing further damage, for stress is a silent force that erodes our health if we fail to see it and fail to act to mitigate it.
Our feelings of loss are triggered by sights and smells, events and anniversaries. And stress, in subtle ways, amplified by the knowledge that the death or loss was wrongful and avoidable, steals our health by impacting every system in our bodies. It will rob us of health in our digestion, our circulation, our energy level, our weight management, our blood pressure, our sleep, and more.
We can, however, work to lessen that stress load in several ways. Here are some first steps that may help.
Discussing the event and accompanying feelings will defuse the inner pressure. Either a professional counsellor or a friend who will listen – simply listen – will help. They won’t fix the problem, but a sympathetic ear changes the inner chemistry from toxic to healing. Grief share groups are another avenue that many find helpful.
Human touch also lowers stress chemistry in our inner world. Massage therapy will add to the healing momentum of time.
When wrongful death occurs, there are always questions for which we seek answers. Consulting with a lawyer can bring relief to those pressing questions of fault, blame, responsibility, recourse, and prevention of tragedy in the future. These are reasonable questions that deserve expert input and advice. Find a legal team with experience in these areas, and make time to find good answers.
For your own sake, you may want to take up a new hobby, or find an area to volunteer in your community. This will serve as a distraction, contribute to your world in a positive way, and even allow you to see some peace as you ‘do good unto others’ in the name and in honor of your loved one. Your loved one had years taken away from them in their death. You can lend a sense of meaning to that loss.
Chiropractors are very aware of the impact of stress on the spine. You would do well to take care of your spine with regular check ups and adjustments. Exercising regularly will help, too. Incorporating a combination of these ideas in your routines, you may find peace. You may find the empty place left behind the loss of your loved one softened, and partially filled. And you will find a good life does indeed go on.
Another concept that may help is to prepare your own life organized prior to your own departure. Having the details of your life organized will offer your loved ones a gift of peace.
This article was written by Dr. Charles Roost, D.C., owner of Delta Chiropractic Center, and author of the Quality End of Life Planner, as well as several other books on topics pertaining to world view issues.