Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

Have you ever done something that you later regretted? I have. Have you ever been embarrassed by your actions or angry at yourself for something you have said or done to another? I have. Has your regret, embarrassment, or anger ever limited your daily life, your happiness, or your future? Mine has.

Regret, embarrassment, and anger are easily remedied. Unfortunately, the remedy usually causes discomfort. There comes a point, however, where regret, embarrassment, and anger become unbearable and remorse morphs discomfort over to deliverance. Discomfort becomes desirable as it is our release from the prison of anguish within which we reside. Indeed, once we reach this level of pain, discomfort through recompense is the only road that will usher in relief.

This past week has been lively at the funeral home. Over the past seven days, we have served families suffering from expected loss, sudden loss, and tragic loss. In one particular family, we witnessed multiple losses. Multiple loss is a struggle that no family ever wants to experience.

About three months ago, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon visiting with an elderly couple.  They were as deeply in love as they were 60 years ago when they were high school sweethearts. As they preplanned their final arrangements, they held hands, tenderly called each other by endearments, and continually placed the other over themselves throughout our time together. My heart was filled with joy as I witnessed their tender moments of love and care for each other.

My time with them brought me happiness. It brought me to hope that there are other couples who are as happily married and share the greatest bliss known to mankind; the blessings of true love and complete fidelity, sealed with a contract of holy matrimony.  These glorious blessings prepare the perfect stage for the next greatest blessing in life; the blessing of increase. No matter what anyone tells you, or how societal trends influence popular opinion, life remains unfulfilled without these blessings.

Unfortunately, after just a few weeks, the husband returned to the funeral home alone.  He was seeking final services for his wife. She had undergone a simple surgical procedure that ended in tragedy. He was broken. In fact, at times he was unable to stand on his own accord. There were moments where the battle to fight back tears kept him from speaking.  He was weak with sorrow and grief. I feared for his health. We interred his wife and after a few days, his children called at the funeral home. They were in need of final services for him. 

This family was struck with two very unexpected deaths within close proximity to each other.  Sadly, the gentleman took his own life as he was too heartbroken to continue on without his beloved by his side. This act of suicide, coupled with the unexpected loss of his wife, brought on deeply disturbing grief for his survivors. They were under such stress and anguish that some of them were unable to maintain their composure and they struck out at each other.  Fighting and hurtful words passed between family members. Things that were not meant, but spoken out of extreme pain, anguish, and brutal passion, have inflicted unyielding pain. I fear that this family’s recovery from grief, and from harsh actions, will be a long time in coming.


Aggressive Behaviors

Grief can sometimes cause survivors to behave aggressively.

This behavior should subside as recovery takes place.

If a survivor is unable to control aggressive actions toward others, immediate preventative measures are necessary.

If one is in danger of harm from an aggressive survivor, the authorities should be called upon, and medical intervention may indeed be required.

If you are a survivor who feels aggressive tendencies and are in fear of carrying out your aggression on others, you should consider contacting your medical practitioner for immediate assistance. (Mourning Light II, 2016)

Preventive measures were utilized in order to protect family members from physical harm; however, this family will most likely suffer the ramifications of their actions for generations to come. I fear they will suffer a wedge that will separate them and their posterity from the love they once experienced together. This is a tragedy that should never have happened. 

Extreme stress related to loss is magnified under tragic death, especially suicidal death. This family would have faired better if they had controlled their aggressions.  If they were unable to do so on their own, they should have sought out assistance.  If professional assistance were not possible, it would have been better to stay away from each other.  They have suffered more than any family ever should. 

If you suffer such tragic loss or extreme feelings of aggression related to your loss, please seek out professional assistance. If you do not, you may end up arrested, in the hospital, estranged from those you love; or, you may even suffer death yourself. None of these outcomes are desired by anyone who loves you. None of these outcomes would be desired by your deceased loved one. If you are out of control or bordering on its loss, please get the assistance you need to preserve your life, your happiness, and the safety of others about you.

Aggressive behavior has a price, it steals your dignity and takes from you those whom you love. Doing all that you can to quell aggression before it imposes its price is worthwhile.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.

It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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