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Helping Your Family

When someone you love dies because of an accident or an act of medical malpractice, the loss is shocking. In many instances the death is abrupt, leaving you and your family with no time to prepare. You’re thrust unexpectedly into a new world without your spouse or your parent or your child in it, and you don’t know how to move forward.

It’s important during this difficult time that you and your family find ways and make time to take care of yourselves and each other. Every person processes grief in his or her own way, but there are steps to helping your family through the trauma of losing a loved one, and to ensure your family’s financial future.

Gather Your Paperwork

There’s a lot involved in planning for your family’s future after a death — a lot of details that will need your attention. If they aren’t already in one place, it’s probably a good idea to gather documents such as insurance policies, birth certificates, bank statements, wills, trusts, deeds, vehicle titles, investment papers, and loan documents so that you can start the process of closing out your loved one’s affairs. Some of these documents also may be useful if you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim so that you can demonstrate how your family is affected financially by the loss of your loved one.

Figure Out Your New Family Roles

Whether you’ve lost a spouse, a parent, or a child, your family will be forever altered by your loved one’s absence. The very fabric of your family is changed, and how your family works likely will need to change as you adjust to your new reality. Grief experts say these changes happen both on an individual and a family level, and finding your balance again will involve acknowledging the needs of your individual family members as well as your family as a whole. How that happens varies from family to family.

This article from about family reorganization after a loss may provide some help.

Consider Talking to Someone

Losing a family member is a major emotional trauma and shouldn’t be shouldered alone, especially if you’re a parent whose emotional resources are being used taking care of your children, who now are coping with having lost their mother or father. Whether it’s a best friend, a chaplain or pastor, a counselor, or a support group, it’s a good idea to find someone who can help you through your bereavement and share some of the emotional burden.

If you don’t have someone like a friend or a church pastor to turn to, here are a few resources for finding information about the grieving process or for finding counselors or support groups in Chicago:

  • The Center for Grief Recovery: Website includes articles about various topics related to grief and bereavement for adults and children. The center also offers different types of grief therapy or support.
  • GriefShare: Allows you to search for support groups by city and state, and provides times, dates, and locations for meetings.
  • Rainbows International: A nonprofit based in Evanston that helps children with grief and bereavement.

Get Help From A Lawyer

You’re going to need a lot of personal resources just to take care of yourself and your family after losing someone you love. You shouldn’t also have to cope with battling insurance companies over claims or worrying about who is going to pay for medical bills, funeral costs, or lost income following the death of your family member through someone else’s negligence or malpractice. A Chicago wrongful death lawyer with experience handling wrongful death claims can help you with the claims process and work to get your family the compensation you deserve and that will preserve your family’s financial future.