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Channeling Feelings of Jealousy Following a Loss


Grieving Process

Posted On: Mar 23, 2017

Channeling Feelings of Jealousy Following a Loss

It's not unusual to experience jealousy following the death of someone you love. The jealousy doesn't exist because your loved one betrayed you or anything like that. Have you ever felt jealousy over the friend of a friend, just because someone else shares a bond with the person you love? After someone close to you dies, her or his family members, friends, acquaintances, and coworkers come together. That may be the first time that you realize other people knew and loved the person you lost. Those people know things you don't know. They've experienced things you haven't. Of course, that inspires a bit of jealousy. The trick is to channel it into positive experiences.

Create a New Circle of Friendship

One of the most rewarding things you can do if you find yourself envious of the departed's relationships with other people is to make those people your friends, as well. The person you loved saw something in each friend and loved one who shows up to mourn her or his death. In turn, each person who knew the deceased obviously had the good taste and sense to befriend someone so wonderful. By befriending the friends of your loved one, you're helping to keep her or his memory alive, plus you're enriching your own lives, each of you. Your loved one would certainly approve.

Seek Comfort in the Memories of Others

Isn't it better to take comfort in the meaningful memories other people have of your loved one than it is to be jealous of them? Your first instinct may be to feel resentful that the departed didn't share certain things with you, but that's unfair and selfish. Don't you have things that you share with certain friends or relatives? Don't you have interests that are all your own? Instead of being envious, take the opportunity to learn more about this person all of you loved so much. You have the chance to discover new aspects of someone you hold dear.

Turn Your Feelings into Something Creative

There is a documentary called Dear Zachary. The inspiration behind its creation is heartbreaking, but its original intent—a man traveling cross-country and to different countries to learn more about his best friend after his passing—is touching. Let that inspire you. Using photographs, home movies, interviews, or anything else you can find, piece together the whole bright life of the person you lost.

You're not wrong or terrible for feeling jealous. It's natural. You cannot let it consume you or color your memories of your loved one, however. Embrace your loved one's friends and use the opportunity to learn.