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When You Don't Feel Sad After a Loss


Grieving Process

Posted On: Feb 20, 2017

When You Don't Feel Sad After a Loss

Grief affects everyone differently—and in some cases, that means it doesn't affect them at all. After losing someone in your family or circle of friends, have you ever found that you don't feel much of anything? It's possible that you worried about the lack of emotion. Perhaps you even feared you were a sociopath or suffered from something else that affected your ability to feel empathy or sadness. It's almost guaranteed that isn't the case at all. There are dozens of reasons you might not feel sad when you lose someone. That feeling—or lack thereof—likely doesn't extend to every loss you experience, isn't that right?

How Close Were You?

Being blood kin with someone doesn't necessarily make you close. It simply makes you related. Similarly, if you haven't talked to a friend in quite some time, there's a buffer softening their affect on your life. This is regrettable, but it's true, and it's nothing that should make you feel ashamed or bad about yourself. To put things in perspective, after losing a great grandmother, the author did not overtly or intensely grieve. There was a sadness wrapped up in nostalgia, but it was a bit like bypassing the more painful stages of grief.

Time and Space Dull Sadness

This is another regrettably true fact. Separation over time and distance can lessen the impact of grief. If you have not actually seen a cousin, an uncle, or even a grandparent in a number of years, your pain won't necessarily be deep and visceral. That's not to say you won't feel sad or sympathetic, but again, it's a softer sort of bereavement. It's similar to friends. Losing your best friend or even your very close friends is an entirely different proposition, but a close high school friend or college roommate's death may not leave you prostrate with grief.

Quiet Grief Is Still Grief

With some people in your life, you might experience a calmer, tamer type of pain. It's sad, but not all-encompassing. It may also hit you harder in time. Bereavement is such a personal experience; there is not a right or wrong way to grieve. The same person can grieve each loss differently. There's not a thing wrong with that.

And there's nothing wrong with you if you don't have an intense response to a particular loss. You aren't broken. You aren't unemotional or icy. You're just fine, and your reaction is completely normal—for you.