The Greek storyteller Aesop once said, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
A French proverb reads, “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”
Philosopher Epictetus said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not but rejoices for those which he has.”
You can probably sense a theme we have going here at Krause Funeral Homes! After this last year, our staff is making a concerted effort to focus on gratitude – and we hope blogs like this one will inspire you to do the same.
Every day, we help Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield families who are going through some of the most difficult times in their lives. As we walk alongside them planning funerals, visitations, receptions, and burials, one thing is clear: The overwhelming love people have for each other is especially evident during times of pain and grief. Incredible loss can also spur incredible care, thoughtfulness, and thanksgiving.
As we begin a much-anticipated new year, consider the following:
When you wake up and start your daily routine, focus on specific things you’re grateful for in your life. It could be simple: enjoying a cup of coffee on a frigid Milwaukee morning. Looking outside to see the frost or snow while feeling toasty and warm inside. Or maybe you have a sense of gratitude when you think about those you love most – even those you’ve lost. These memories can bring a sense of warmth all their own, as you look back on the good times that have enriched your life.
Studies show that people who keep gratitude journals are happier, more optimistic, and even more likely to reach their goals. If you’ve never written down what you’re thankful for, now is the perfect time to start! This doesn’t have to take long. In just minutes, you can write down the names of special people, a recent blessing you’ve experienced, or even describe a meaningful moment in your day.
If, indeed, you have lost a loved one and the pain is still fresh, as yourself questions like these:
- What is my favorite memory about the person I lost?
- How am I most thankful for the life they lived?
- When I’m feeling low, who can I turn to for support?
- What have I learned from the difficult times in my life?
- How can I keep their memory alive? (May we suggest volunteering at their favorite charity or non-profit or reaching out to a mutual friend to say hello.)
As 2021 begins, we want to remind you that our caring team is here to support you however we can. Not only do we understand the complicated emotions that come with losing a loved one, we also have access to resources that can help. We know the best specialists in the area and also have the most comprehensive list of current grief support groups for Southeastern Wisconsin.
In the days and weeks ahead, we encourage you to join us in focusing on gratitude over and over again. It’s our hope that this will become more than a moment in our day. Rather, it will become a part of who we are this year and always.