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Courtroom Outburst

April 1, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Courtroom Outburst

Grieving the loss of a loved one can take many forms, especially when it involves a violent crime as we saw Monday following Christopher Kryger's bond hearing.  Grieving experts say that outburst of anger and a feeling of retaliation by Kari Kirkegaard's brother was a "normal" reaction.

During Kryger's court appearance, one of Kirkegaard's brothers had to be removed from the courtroom after making death threats to Kryger through a glass window.  

Brian Johnson's anger then spilled out into the lobby outside the courtroom.

Don Jorgensen: What were you trying to say to him?
Johnson:  I told him I was going to kill him. He's a rat. He never should have been out. He choked my sister and if I get a hold of him, I'm going to choke him out myself. That's a fact. That's a fact.

A grieving expert at Avera Behavioral Health Center says what Johnson did and said is "normal" behavior.

"I always encourage people to say, 'How would you react if this was your sister?  How would you react if this was your child?'  All of us, I think, don't know until we are put into that situation," thanatologist Mark Vande Braak of Avera Behavioral Health said.

Vande Braak says a person shouldn't focus on the person they're angry at, but rather honor the person they want to remember.

"You look at the date of birth and date of death, but the most important part of that date in our lives is in between the dash it's called; who were they.  What were their gifts they gave us in life?" Vande Braak said.

Vande Braak says a death in the family will always be a part of your life, but it's important not to let it control your life.

"I encourage people to, if they can possibly, step away from that, because I know that anger at that person is not going to be healthy in the long run," Vande Braak said.

Vande Braak says other ways of coping with the loss of a loved one can be to seek counseling, keep a journal or visit with clergy.

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