With fall in full swing, the holiday season is officially upon us. The team at Krause Funeral Homes looks forward to this time of year in anticipation of the wonderful sights, sounds, and flavors of the Thanksgiving season! And fall in Milwaukee and New Berlin is always so beautiful. It is also a time of deep reflection for us – a time to be thankful for our family and all the special people in our lives – especially the families we serve. Of course, we are always aware that Thanksgiving can also be a very difficult time for those who have lost loved ones. In this season of gratitude, it can be incredibly difficult to feel grateful when you are still grieving your loss.
The holidays are often a reminder of the people who should be gathering around your table or with whom you enjoyed special traditions. Even the act of imagining those traditions without your loved ones present can be overwhelming. Whether your loss is recent or happened quite some time ago, missing those who are no longer with you is normal. During this time of year, you may find you need more help with managing your feelings or setting expectations. You may find speaking with a counselor or someone else experienced in grief support can help you understand what to expect over the holidays and how to cope with the sadness you feel when a new member of the family carves the turkey or serves the pie this year.
You may find peace by focusing on the things your loved one most enjoyed. Remembering how your loved one always snuck that second helping of stuffing every year or anticipated the Packers game with great excitement, can help remind you of the good times and moments you shared together – certainly something to be thankful for.
Gratitude can also be hard to express when you feel isolated from others. Joining in the merrymaking, baking pies, or visiting far away friends may be the last thing you feel like doing. It might feel like others do not understand what you are going through, which can make you want to spend time alone. Interacting with a grief therapy pet such as our grief therapy dog, Bennie, can be particularly helpful during these times. It is easy to feel grateful for the comfort of an adoring pet, even during your saddest times, and spending time with a furry friend may be just what you need to feel gratitude in other things.
And if you do start to feel thankful or happy during the holidays and suddenly feel a twinge of guilt, know that is normal too. You may wonder if feeling grateful is wrong or disloyal to your departed loved. If this happens, it may help you to think about how much your friend or family member loved you. They wanted you to be happy – they wanted what was best for you. Your joy would bring them joy.
Let the Krause team continue to support you in the weeks and months following a funeral, burial or cremation service. Being able to be here to support you and your family is one of the things for which the Krause family is most grateful this Thanksgiving and always.