I just read this article which describes a unique complex loss. How does one mourn and cope after accidentally causing the death of another human being?
This type of complex loss was not on my radar before seeing this article, and I guess that is not surprising. The article explains that there are no self help books for someone who has accidentally killed another human being, no research, and no therapists who specialize in treating those in this group. It is truly a disenfranchised loss.
The article describes the intensely difficult experience of a young woman who hit and killed a child with her car. The stories of several others who unintentionally killed someone were also shared. (As an aside: it seems complex to even name this group. “Accidental killers” was sometimes used as a term in the article… but I found that to be difficult and a bit harsh. The term “killer” seems to imply intentionality to me. )
It is clear that the lives of all of those who were portrayed were irrevocably altered. The grief, guilt and shame were immense for all of the subjects. It makes sense that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms are not uncommon for this group. They also face the difficult question of who to tell about this experience in their past.
This website was created by the primary subject of the article, the woman who hit a child with her car. She decided to create a website after realizing that there were no resources available for those with a similar experience.