Dealing with an unexpected loss

02/14/18 at 03:34 PM | Published Under Hospice by Christy Pennington

By: Gloria A. Brooks
February 13, 2018

Our Colorado Springs community recently dealt with an unimaginable loss - the shooting of four first responders and the death of one of those officers.

With this news, we are once again confronted by the heartbreak and trauma of loss. The people most impacted by this tragedy share a common thread - their lives were lost suddenly, leaving their family and friends to cope with the unexpected loss of someone whom they loved dearly.

It is important for us to recognize that none of us who witness a community tragedy, either as a first-person witness, friend, work colleague or family member, or a community member after the news, aren't touched by it. It's important to remember that stress and grief that comes from these losses are normal reactions to sudden tragedy.

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is always challenging, but a sudden loss can be shocking and even unimaginable. In the back of our minds, we understand that no one lives forever. When someone we love has a terminal illness or has reached the end-stages of life, we have time to make preparations and say our goodbyes. But an untimely death can leave us feeling out of control and overwhelmed with the pain of grief.

Those who experience unexpected loss may feel angered by the sudden death, cheated of a last goodbye or sad that they didn't perform some final act of kindness before their loved one died. Missing out on saying goodbye can leave us feeling distressed, adrift and angry; which only adds to our grief, pain and sadness during an already difficult time.

Although it may be hard to imagine during the months and even years after the sudden death of a loved one, it's important to remember that recovery is possible.

While everyone grieves differently, we ultimately work through the pain to begin healing.

As we go through a grief journey, it's critical to focus on our health and emotions.

After a loss we may find ourselves eating or sleeping less - but both are key to recovery. We should be honest with ourselves and deal with our emotions - repressing feelings only delays the grieving process. Crying doesn't mean we are weak or that we're being selfish - it means that we are human.

Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care's Center for Grief & Loss is available to anyone in the community experiencing the loss of a loved one, regardless if we provided end of life care to the person who died. Call 719-884-6530 for next steps, at no cost.

Especially in the aftermath of community tragedies, we want to extend our support and services to everyone touched by this recent shooting.

These services are free due to the generosity of our donors. Our counselors stand ready to assist anyone grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Ultimately, it's important to keep your loved one close to your heart and honor him or her by living a fulfilling and rewarding life.

During the difficult times after an unexpected loss, we can find comfort by trusting that the person we loved would want us to live our lives to the fullest.

What Our Families Say

"Everyone I have been in contact with for your organization is a
God-send to me on every level.  Thank you for your dedication to
your job and your concern for each patient."  August 2018

"What a caring team!  Not only do you care for the patients, but also for the family. 
We were always asked, 'Is there anything you need?  god bless you all."  February 2018

"Even though it's a challenge to be without my dad, I have so many happy memories of him,
it helps always.  Thank you for all the many things you did to help my dad in his last days. 
It was so sad to watch him pass, but knowing that he was being care for everyday by
so many others, made all the difference in the world.  You've all made me feel as
though I have support if needed.  Thank you!"  April 2017

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Colorado Gives Day December 4, 2018!
03 Dec

This annual statewide movement celebrates and increases philanthropy in Colorado through online giving.  For 24 hours beginning at 12 a.m. donations will be accepted via  Simply visit the site and type "Pikes Peak Hospice" under...