There are only four modes of death: natural death, accidental death, suicide, or homicide.
In contrast to natural death, Rynearson (1987) points out that unnatural death is “characterized by horror, brutality, and calamity”. He also notes that unnatural death presents at least three particularities that influence the mourner’s psychological adjustment: violence, violation, and volition.
Violence is defined as “an unanticipated, lethal, injurious act”. Violation is defined as “an unprovoked, transgressive, exploitative act”. Volition is defined as “an act of willful intentional killing or as an irresponsible negligence leading to death”.
Violence Violation Volition
Accident Intense Moderate Weak or Absent
Suicide Intense Absent Intense
Homicide Intense Intense Intense
Violence is associated with post-traumatic stress, violation is associated with victimization, and volition is associated with compulsive inquiry.
Sudden accidental death
The unanticipated nature of this death is a significant risk factor, contributing to confusion, anxiety, incomprehensibility, bewilderment, self-reproach, depression, and a state of psychological and physical shock.
Accidents occur in higher rates among children, adolescents, and young adults. They are the leading cause of death among persons aged 1 to 37. This means that there is a higher chance that the accidental death will bring the loss of a young person, perhaps a child.
Often in accidental death a constellation of high-risk factors: loss of a youth, lack of anticipation, violence, and preventability occur together, bringing on complicated mourning.
A high correlation exists between accidental death and violence, mutilation, and destruction (automobile accidents, air disasters) leaving the survivors with feelings of vulnerability, insecurity, fear, and lack of protection.
Traumatic memories of the event or imagined things of what transpired, often worse than the reality, haunt...