16 Jan Feeling More Relief Than Grief?


poster on brick wall and plafond

Feeling more relief than grief?  Feeling more relief than grief is something that typically doesn’t get talked about much.  However, we need to talk about this because this too is normal for grieving and healing for some people.  Typically, this type of response occurs, with some level of emotional intensity, after witnessing your loved one die a slow and painful death—or even a quick and painful death.  Undoubtedly, because of what was witnessed, it’s normal to experience feelings of relief related to the fact that our loved one is not suffering anymore.  At the same time we want them back!

The confusion created by conflicting feelings tends to trigger feelings of guilt—inappropriate guilt.  Inappropriate guilt because it’s not selfish or wrong to want them back and it’s not selfish or wrong to be glad they are no longer in pain.

More relief than grief can also occur if the relationship that you had with your loved one was challenging or stressful—for any reason.  For example, drug use, alcohol issues, abuse of any kind…  If you are not missing your loved one—you are not the first person to experience this response and you won’t be the last—and you don’t have to feel bad about not missing your loved one.

I remember watching Dr. Phil a few years back.  I don’t remember what the entire program was about.  However, one of the ladies he had on, an older lady, talked openly about her deceased husband and what a pistol he was to live with over the many, many, years of their marriage—and how nice it was not to have to deal with him anymore.  She was enjoying life without him…  She was calm and grateful and at peace.  This was eye opening for me.

Your feelings are your feelings.  Working through all feelings, including feelings of relief for whatever reason or reasons, is just a normal part of the healing process.  Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in inappropriate guilt.  Some things just are what they are.  And we have to accept the fact that we all do grieving and healing differently.