Holiday Help for Grieving Families


Welcome to the Krause Funeral Homes blog. For the past 75 years, we have served Wisconsin families, listening to their needs and answering a wide range of questions surrounding the death of a loved one. We'd like to share that knowledge via this blog, which will cover a diverse range of topics. We invite you to send us your questions (there is a reply box at the end of the blog). For privacy reasons, we will change or abbreviate the names of the people who ask questions.

bench a David P.* asks about the best way to help his father get through the upcoming holidays while grieving the loss of his wife and David's mother. "My dad isn't interested in taking part in family holiday plans this year. How can we be supportive?"

This time of year can be difficult for a family celebrating the holidays for the first time without their loved one. If someone you care about is experiencing grief this holiday season, here are a few ideas on how you may be of help.

Be Available and Listen
Your loved one or friend may need to reminisce and share his or her feelings of grief. Arranging a time to visit and listen is a simple but often much appreciated gift. Some conversation starters include: “I remember when he…” “One of my fondest memories…” followed by positive stories.

Offer a Lending Hand
Concrete assistance is more valuable than open-ended statements like “let me know how I can help.” While you might have the best intentions with a more general offer, it puts the burden on the bereaved. Instead offer to run errands, help with household tasks (lawn care, snow removal, driving), deliver a meal or coordinate others to deliver meals. This may be especially helpful if your loved one or friend is adjusting to life without someone to share household responsibilities.

Show Patience, Understanding and Persistence
If a loved one or grieving friend takes their anger out on you or refuses offers of help, reply with kindness. We all handle grief in different ways; in some, it comes out in anger. Be persistent in your sincere offers of help and stay in touch. Even short phone calls or notes may go a long way.

Set Aside Special Time for Reflection
Especially during the holidays, many who are grieving find comfort in prayer and/or their house of worship. Offering to pray for and/or attend services with your friend or loved one may be exactly what he or she is looking for.

At the end of each year Krause Funeral Homes hosts gatherings to remember and honor those we have lost. Please join us for an hour of reflection and music at our Services of Remembrance.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 7pm 9000 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee
Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 3pm 12401 W. National Ave., New Berlin

RSVP 414.464.4640 or click here.

For more information on grief and senior resources click here.

*For privacy reasons, we have changed or abbreviated the name of the person who has asked a question.

2 comments

  1. Tom T says:

    That was very helpful. My family and I are also going through our first holiday without a loved one. It has been difficult and its nice to know we are not alone.
    Thanks for the blog. Great idea.

  2. Mike K. says:

    Wonderful and very thoughtful advice. Important thoughts to keep in mind as this is the time of year we see so many friends and family members who may need support.

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