When You Can’t Get Back to Normal After a Loved One Dies


“I used to enjoy life; now it feels pointless.”

“I just can’t focus. My mind wanders constantly. All I want to do is stay home and watch TV.”

“Whenever I go out, I’m reminded of my loved one. It’s easier to hide away than deal with the pain.”

Over the years, our friends and neighbors in Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield have shared these sentiments and many more with our staff here at Krause Funeral Homes. In our work planning funerals, cremations, and burials, the vast majority of people we meet are caught off guard by how deeply death affects them. Some feel distracted, fatigued, and anxious. Others become numb, withdrawn, and are taken aback by how little control they have over their emotions and their ability to cope. Far too often, those who are grieving feel pressured to “get better” or move on well before they’re ready.

Our team knows firsthand the shock and pain that hit like a tidal wave after losing a loved one. We want you to remember this: We’re here for you and can help you find the support you need. We’ve been serving families in the Milwaukee area for more than 80 years now and have many connections and numerous resources available.

If you’re struggling after losing a loved one – or maybe someone close to you is grieving and you’re concerned about them – rest assured that things like memory loss, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating are all normal reactions. While they are usually temporary, they may last longer than you think. Sometimes a lot longer. As you try to move forward with life and create a “new normal,” consider these suggestions:

Join a grief support group. With strong ties to our community, Krause has the most comprehensive list of current grief support groups for Southeastern Wisconsin. Our website has organized these groups by location (city or county) and needs (i.e., young widower, death by suicide, Alzheimer’s, etc.). For immediate support and to learn more about the grieving process, consult our Guiding Grief Interactive Online Help.

Contact a professional counselor. Therapists are trained to help people appropriately handle the complex emotions, trauma, and anxiety that can stem from the death of a loved one. With years of experience caring for grieving families, we know the best specialists in the Milwaukee area. Talking with a professional counselor can help you untangle emotions and figure out how to take steps forward. Contact us for help finding a certified therapist in your area.

Seek out resources to help you heal. Many people we meet with tell us their friends and families are there for them after the death occurs . . . but that support lessens over time. Often, those close to you simply don’t know what to say or do during the weeks and month following the funeral. When you’re grieving, it is definitely hard to ask for help – but it’s worth the effort. We can connect you with resources you need, including senior centers and organizations, helpful websites, volunteer opportunities and much more. A single phone call could make all the difference.

Will life every be the same after losing someone close to you? No. Can you come to terms with your “new normal” and embrace joy again? Definitely – and we’re here for you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.

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