Nobody is without fault. No one is perfect, even after they die. And they don’t become so after they die. When someone dies it becomes almost unacceptable to talk about any flaws they may have had. Suddenly all you hear is how wonderful they were and how much they will be missed. It is almost as if there is an unspoken need to sweep every fault they had under the rug because now they are gone. Human relationships are not that simple however. “It’s complicated”, is an option to describe relationships for a reason.
Complicated relationships can turn into complicated grief
No one is perfect, even after they die. Death doesn’t change what you experienced while they were alive. That can be confusing as your grief goes on. Others who didn’t have the same experience as you may seem to grieve a more simplified or sugar coated version of the person.
Feeling disconnected from others’ grief or even your own is not uncommon, especially when your relationship had its flaws. Feeling compelled to say all the nice things out loud but in the back of your mind you recall all the places they let you down can lead to guilt and confusion.
Is it selfish to have their flaws at the forefront of your mind even after they die?
Remember no one is perfect, even after they die
It is okay to acknowledge that things weren’t perfect. Feelings of guilt or anger can be a normal part of the grieving process. Sugar and spice and everything nice is not the recipe for perfect grief. Grief can be hard, confusing and downright ugly.
Acknowledging someone’s imperfections after they die doesn’t make their life any less important. You are allowed to grieve someone who you had a difficult relationship with. You do grieve even someone you don’t like. Someone that disappointed you, was absent from your life or who you had a “complicated” relationship with will cause grief when they die. It doesn’t have to be all love for you to experience grief.
Dealing and processing
You don’t need to explain your grief to anyone. It is okay to have feelings that sound harsh to others. Processing grief starts with being honest about it. No one is perfect even after they die. While you should certainly respect others’ grief and how they view the person who dies. It is not uncommon to bury the bad parts and only see the positive. It is also normal for you to have complex feelings.
Managing yourself is up to you. As long as you give others the space to grieve how they need to, you can do the same. If you need additional grief support click here.