Steve wrote: “I know this isn’t the kind of thing you usually discuss and I hope it’s OK to ask. Two people I know well died in the last couple of months. One was my age, a good friend since high school, and one (two days ago) was someone I did a lot of business with and spoke to nearly every day for the past ten months. He was forty and he had three kids and a wife. Both were very, very, good people and I was very sad on both occasions. But part of me feels almost relieved for them. It’s awful for their friends and family, but I can’t help feeling a sentiment I can best describe as ‘at least they don’t have to do this shit anymore’. Does this make me crazy? I’m starting to think it might.”
Liz says: No, you’re not crazy. It’s very common and normal for people to cope with loss and death in this way.
Death is terrifying for most of us. How we process that fear emotionally and mentally varies, but one of the most common ways is to try to see “the bright side”. Many people believe there’s a heavenly paradise awaiting us after death, and they are likely to say words of comfort to the bereaved like “He’s in a better place”. We also see death as a peaceful state, hence the sentiment “May she rest in peace”. Your relief that your friends ‘don’t have to do this shit anymore’ falls in line with this. You are normal.
However, I do wonder if your life has been very stressful and that’s why you’d refer to life as “this shit”. If you are dealing with a lot of hardship or depression, consider seeking the help of an experienced mental health professional who can help you find more peace and fun in life, because we shouldn’t expect peace only in death.
I’m sorry for your loss, it would be especially difficult having had two people you knew pass away in a short time.