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The Guilt of Relief

guilt of reliefWhen speaking with a person who has recently lost a loved one to a long illness, I often hear them say “I’m just relieved that she’s gone.”

And this statement is almost certainly followed with something like: “It’s just that she was suffering for such a long time. I love my mom, but for those last few years she wasn’t herself. She had no quality of life and I know she would not have wanted to live that way.…”

The fact is that relief is a complicated emotion when coupled with grieving.

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