Recently, I’ve had several people in my life die: my grandparents, my aunt, and then most recently a co-worker I’ve known for a few years (but was never especially close with). On all of these occasions, I’ve felt guilty and uncomfortable because everyone else seems much sadder than I am. In the cases of my family members, my reaction has been “Oh, that’s sad.” I attended their funerals but pretty much continued life as normal. I felt bad for my co-worker’s family, since his death was sudden, but I didn’t experience any personal feelings of sadness. Meanwhile, others around me are crying, taking time off work, acting somber and serious, etc.
Is something wrong with me? Why aren’t I sad? I’m typically a very emotional person, except for in these situations. In the case of my family members, they were in declining health for a long time, so their passing feels to me like a relief, and I am confident that they are in heaven and no longer suffering. While I miss them, it doesn’t make me upset to think about them. In the case of my co-worker, I just didn’t know him that well. For what it’s worth, I start crying just imagining my husband or kids passing away, so I’m not a total robot. It feels disingenuous to pretend to be upset and grieving, but should I, just for the sake of others?