Feeling joy after a death in the family or a close friend can trigger feelings of guilt and remorse in the grieving. Guilt over feeling happiness when you should be feeling nothing but sadness and despair.
But is that really fair to yourself? To punish yourself for feeling anything but sad during this grieving period. But the reality is that there is no manual on proper grieving. It’s okay to feel joy after a death.
Reasons to let yourself feel joy after a death:
- Life goes on – It’s not selfish or insensitive to celebrate and find joy in life after someone you love has died. It’s okay if you want to attend a friend’s birthday party or go see a funny movie at the theatre. Grieving doesn’t mean you’re only permitted to feel sad. In fact, you will likely feel all kinds of emotions during this difficult time. It’s actually a good sign if you can still experience the joys of life. You’re human.
- Your loved one wouldn’t want you to just feel sad – While we cannot speak for everyone, it’s a general belief that our deceased loved ones want us to be happy and remember the good times. If a wonderful memory of the person sparks feelings of happiness, then that’s a good thing. Remembering the good times is so important when grieving. It’s how you preserve their memory.
- Restores a sense of normalcy – While the grieving process takes time – that differs from person to person – being able to feel joy after a death means you’re resilient and strong. It means you’ve accepted the death. It might still make you sad, and there may be days where you’re not able to see the bright side, but in those joyful moments you will get some relief.
If you’re grieving and want to talk to someone, speak to the team at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Centre in Markham, Ontario. They can recommend a bereavement profession to help you get through it.