Grieving a Loss When a Relationship Was Complicated

Grieving a loss is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when your relationship with the person who died was complicated. Perhaps you’re experiencing a variety of emotions that leave you feeling concerned, angry, and confused. Your grief might even mirror the qualities of the real-life relationship. For example, if you felt unsettled about the dynamics between you and your friend or family member while they were alive, you may feel similarly anxious about your grief now that they are gone.

At Krause Funeral Home, our compassionate staff can relate to our neighbors in Milwaukee County as they face complex losses. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when grieving a complicated relationship.

Remember that emotions come and go.

Grieving people experience the gamut of emotions. When mourning a difficult loss, your feelings might shift from sadness to numbness to relief – even by the hour. Keep this in mind: All your feelings are valid and should be honored as such. Like thoughts, emotions come and go. Some scientists say the life span of a feeling is roughly 90 seconds. The next time you feel an emotional wave coming over you, remember that it’s not likely to last all that long.

If you feel stuck, get moving.

It’s easy to forget the benefits of simple movement, especially if you’re one of many Milwaukeeans spending hours a day seated at a desk. Sometimes the easiest way to shift our mood is to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Whenever you’re feeling frustrated with your reaction to a particular loss, take a walk outside in some fresh air.

Channel your emotions into writing.

In a complicated relationship, many things often go unsaid. If you never took the opportunity to tell this person how you felt, it can be healing to write them a letter, even now that they are gone. Consider visiting their memorial or gravesite and reading the letter out loud to them, as this could help facilitate healing and closure for your relationship.

Tell a friend how you’re feeling.

Another helpful way to navigate your feelings after a loss is to express them to a close friend or family member. Whether or not they knew the person who died, they’ll likely understand how you’re feeling and be able to offer kind words and a listening ear.

If you’re experiencing stress about a particularly complicated loss, reach out to our compassionate team at Krause Funeral Home. We are here for you 24/7 and offer grief support services, including time spent with Bennie, our adorable Grief Therapy Dog. Thanks to our years of experience caring for grieving families, we know the best specialists, resources, and support groups Milwaukee has to offer. We also have the most comprehensive list of current support groups for Southeastern Wisconsin. Whether you have experienced a recent loss or are still grappling with emotions from a long-ago death, we are here to offer our support and expertise.