Over the years, many Milwaukeeans have told us they didn’t realize how difficult death was until someone close to them passed away. When our caring team at Krause Funeral Homes sits down to plan a funeral with a family who has recently lost a loved one, we’ll often hear comments like these:
“I can’t believe he’s gone. Last week he was alive, life felt normal, and now . . . everything has changed.”
“I wish I’d insisted that he’d go see his doctor sooner. This could have been prevented. I had a gut feeling that I should make an appointment and I didn’t do it. I can’t help but think this is all my fault.”
“I feel like I’m in the middle of a rushing river and can’t grab hold of anything to steady myself. My energy is drained yet my mind races and I just can’t calm down.”
The grief, pain, and complicated emotions that arrive after a loss are often intense and everyone experiences them differently. There are certain emotions people expect – sadness and loneliness are two examples – but there are many others that creep in without warning.
Certain Emotions May Catch You Off Guard
We want you to know this is a normal part of the grieving process. After all, you cared for the person who died and their absence creates a void you can’t fill. During the grief journey, these emotions may catch you off guard:
Anger. Those who are grieving may feel angry with themselves, their family, medical personnel, the situation itself, God, or even the person who died. There are questions like, “Why would God allow this to happen?” “What will I do now that all my plans for the future are no longer possible?” “How will I cope without this person in my life?”
Death is not fair and we have no control over it. We try to make sense of what happened, which often leads to feelings of anger and accompanying emotions like resentment and envy.
Restlessness. Many who are grieving wake up in the morning and are quickly hit with the reality that their loved one is gone. Throughout the day, they may have difficulty concentrating, feel aimless, low energy, and as if they’re waiting for something to happen – but aren’t sure what.
Grief can sometimes also manifest itself through unexpected physical symptoms. Some people may experience extreme fatigue, nausea, chest pain, or headaches. Always make sure to reach out to a medical professional if you are experiencing any health concerns, as grief can exacerbate pre-existing conditions as well.
Guilt. This can come in many forms. If you had a difficult or confusing relationship with the person who died, you may have regrets about things you said or did when they were alive. Maybe you feel you had a role in their death – whether directly or indirectly – or think you could have done more to help the situation.
When we are weighed down by painful emotions, it is easy to feel guilty about “dumping” our sadness onto someone else. That’s why many so people find it helpful to rely upon the support of a therapist or faith leader to share what they are experiencing. While it’s okay to take time to feel sad or to sit with your emotions, you have to remember to take care of yourself.
Here for you Before, During, and After the Funeral
Whether you have lost a spouse, friend, sibling or parent, let our staff provide valuable information on how to carry on. At Krause Funeral Homes, we are here for you before, during and long after the funeral.
Our Guiding Grief Interactive Online Help offers immediate support and provides practical information about the grieving process. We can also connect you with grief support groups in the Milwaukee County area, where you can join others who have experienced loss, talk with licensed counselors, and explore additional grief services. Or consider meeting with our Grief Therapy Dog, Bennie, who has received years of specialized training to learn how to bring comfort to the hurting. He has a special knack for sensing human emotion and brings a lot of comfort to those he interacts with.
Our aftercare program for seniors offers activities, events, and caregiving resources. Krause Funeral Homes also sponsors, co-sponsors, and participates in educational classes and events throughout the year that may be exactly what you need to help you heal.