Range of emotions when someone dies

Languishing Philosopher
3 min readJul 4, 2022
Source Credit: Indian Express

Relief: When someone dies after being a burden to the family or the care giver, the people around the dead experience a sense of relief. Caring for old and dependent person is such a big burden to normal people who are still young and independent. The act of taking care is painful and puts stress on the caregiver. They lose independence to do what they want with their life. They have to be always close to the person that needs care and is bed ridden. While they would care, due to sense of responsibility added with some societal pressure and ‘to do the right thing’, they would still feel the burden. So when the person dies, they experience a sense of relief.

Freedom: Some families are run by dictators, as in a Totalitarian government. The dictator controls thought, word and actions of the rest of the family. The dictator determines who in family can talk and when, and what they should say. The dictator determines when they should sleep, sit, get up, who they can develop friendship with etc. When the dictator is dead, the rest of the family suddenly feels a sense of total freedom. Shackles are removed and they are totally free to do what they want to do.

Depression and Grief: A rare phenomenon is when 2 people live as one entity all their life. This typically is very very rare, and happens with couples or 2 sisters. These 2 people love and respect each other, and they almost live one single life. So when one person dies, it is like a part of their own self is taken away from them. This brings a sense of depression and grief with the surviving person.

Apathy: With nuclear family becoming more prominent, people are indifferent when someone dies in the family. When the person was alive they never experienced any intimate experience or relationship. This could be a brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, uncle, aunt or any relationship for that matter. Due to no meaningful relationship prior to death, the survivor experience apathy and indifference towards the dead. They just continue living their life. Death is just a statistics to remember, so they don’e end up enquiring how they are to the other relatives. That would make them look real bad.

Loss of one’s dream: When a son or daughter dies at young age, parents feel bad, because a life is taken away before it could experience the fulness of life. They feel bad for losing the love of their children. Parents have a dream and vision for how their children should grow up, say a doctor or engineer. But when the person dies, their dreams die with the person.

Helplessness: When a sole breadwinner of the family dies, irrespective of the person being a devil or angel, the family is put in a very precarious situation. They wish the person was not dead. They wish the person lived, so that their life can be at status quo. Not that there is any love or care, but because their life and livelihood is dependent on the person that has been providing for the family.