Every person grieves the loss of a loved one differently – partly because each person is an individual but also because each relationship is different.
I’ve written about this before: How to Cope with Grief and Loss
And today we’re talking about grieving from a different angle:
Recently, a friend sent me an article on grieving the death of someone you didn’t like. I resonated with the article so much – not because I didn’t like the person who died, but because the relationship was difficult.
I’m going to be vulnerable here and say that I experienced this kind of grieving when my mom died. Ours was a difficult relationship.
When she died many people messaged me to say how sad they were and I felt isolated and bad for not feeling the same way they were. There were only a few people with whom I could be real about how I was feeling.
I buried my mom’s ashes with mixed feelings. Sadness because her life was over, yet relieved because I wouldn’t have to try and manage the relationship any more. Sad because I never received from her what I needed, and sad because she couldn’t give it.
I pressed the ground into place over her ashes, relieved to be safe and free. And sad because I shouldn’t have to feel relieved.
I wish it could have been different.
I’m hoping my experience will help someone else deal with a situation like this. So, let’s unpack it a bit.
In grieving a difficult relationship it’s important to consider all the ways the relationship impacted you, to count the cost, and process the hurt and damage.
Allow yourself to work through all those aspects of grieving and give yourself time and permission to feel what you feel.
Your grieving is unique because your relationship with the person was not the same as everyone else’s. And that’s OK.
Have you grieved the loss of someone who harmed you physically or emotionally? How did you deal with the conflicting emotions?