A tragedy in the family is something that is hard for most people to pin down with words, simply because the repercussions of a loss can carry utterly devastating implications. One’s personal stronghold and sense of comfort is utterly wrenched away, and a family can be entrenched in burdens that may seem insurmountable.

The emotional loss is certainly heavy, but when the primary provider passes on in a family, one’s future may seem financially ruined. That’s why, in any tragic situation, it’s important to keep grips with reality without letting panic set in. Struggling through an intense and abrupt situation will be very difficult, but it is possible, and a family has to believe that. The pain of losing a loved one will never completely disperse, but it’s always possible, as hard as it may be, to plan a future without that person.

Below, are a few steps that may help your family get through some intense struggles.

1. Set plans

After a death, planning for the future may seem like an abhorrent obstacle that doesn’t even make sense. However, in order to cope with tragedy, you must make goals so that you’ll glean some hope for the future, because without hope, one’s life will be forever stagnant in the doldrums. You want to live as much as possible despite adversity.

2. Express emotions (or don’t)

It’s vital to remember that there are several stages in the grieving process that most people go through, and that though someone may not be reacting in the way that you would, it doesn’t diminish or exaggerate their grief. Denial, sadness and anger are all very typical reactions to a tragedy, but some people may not reveal much outward emotion at all. Everyone must cope with grief in their own way, but if you find yourself feeling lonely or rundown, it’s never a bad idea to reach out to those around you for support.

3. Communicate

When a person dies, people can feel reluctant to say things about the deceased in fear of hurting someone else, they may also be unsure of the best way to comfort another. When in doubt, don’t let fear swallow your feelings, if you want to express something, let it out.

4. Distractions

When coping with a tragedy, distracting oneself with hobbies or work is one way to avoid feelings of helplessness, sadness and anxiety. However, you don’t won’t to become so engrossed in a project that you ignore the reality of the situation, learning to balance emotions is a part of the healing process.