The death of a family member or other loved one is always difficult for those left behind. Even when the loss is expected after a lengthy illness or comes at the end of a full life, grief and sadness are unavoidable. But when a life is tragically and suddenly cut short because someone acted recklessly or was negligent or when a parent, child, or sibling is taken from a family forever because someone else was careless and irresponsible, the loss hits even harder.
Families may find their mourning is joined by anger at the person responsible for the permanent hole created in the family’s life. Questions about how and why their loved one died accompany worries about weathering the financial, practical, and emotional challenges that follow an unexpected death. As the shock recedes, they wonder what to do next and whether the person responsible for their loss can be held accountable.