When You’ve Experienced a Tragic Loss - FAQ

For myself

Am I supposed to feel this way?

How am I supposed to feel? Irritable and indecisive? Detached?

I’m so angry at her, why do I feel ashamed by this? Click any question

I’ve been feeling so withdrawn, so active , so…Am I ok? For more information

What can I do to feel better?

A way to describe people’s reactions to grief and traumatic loss is that they are normal responses to abnormal events. No one is prepared for tragedy; therefore the impact we can feel may be physical (sick, tired), emotional (guilt, numb) behavioral (act out or shut down), cognitive (difficulty remembering things, disorganization), spiritual (questioning faith). Be mindful of the intensity, duration and impact of your feelings on your everyday functioning.


For my family

How can I help my family manage?

What should I tell people?

Why doesn’t anyone in my family want to talk about it? Click any question

Are there rituals or events that can be helpful? For more information

When do we move on?

The manner in which we grieve, want help and need help is very personal. Often we can help others by taking care of ourselves. When we as individuals are in position to explore the range of feelings and emotions associated with loss we are also in good position to help our families.


For my community

How do we prevent this from happening again?

Is there anything I could have done?

Should I tell her the truth about how he died? Click any question

Is there anything proactive I can do? For more information

Are there people in the community that can help with preventive efforts?

Whenever we are able to talk about things it can make those things feel manageable. Tragic losses can affect communities as well as individuals. There are many resources available (schools, clergy, groups) that can help facilitate dialogue to raise awareness and inspire hope.


Who can I reach out to?

It may seem difficult to reach out at these times. Think about those you trust – family, clergy, doctor, mental health provider – and for additional local resources

Find out who.



Hurting yourself is NEVER
the right answer.
There are people who can help.

For immediate help call
911 or

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

To talk with someone call
Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Support and Help Around You