Is It Selfish To Grieve?

These questions were asked in a group setting recently:

  • Is it selfish to grieve?
  • Is the essence of grief selfishness?
  • Is not wanting to take over the tasks associated with losing a loved one (e.g. planning a funeral, paying bills, repair work) a sign of selfishness?

I am appalled that anyone would ask such a question.  They must never have grieved the loss of a loved one, if they had, they would know better.


Everyone talks about “healing” from grief.  There is the answer – grief is a gaping wound and the deeper your relationship with the deceased, the deeper the wound.  Since grief is a gaping wound that needs mending, how can it be selfish to grieve?

God gave us the capacity to grieve and he also gave us the capacity to heal from grief.


Is it selfish not to want to take over all the responsibilities? (e.g. funeral planning, paying bills, yard work, and housework)  No.  No one wants the all the responsibility on their back.  Managing everything about the household is a daunting and overwhelming task that easily makes anyone feel helpless.

It was Joe and I buying the house and sharing the responsibilities and suddenly he was gone and now it is me handling everything.

Then 14 months later I am in the unemployment line and now there is a job search on top of everything else.

Walk A Mile

Fun times, those who think grieving people are selfish should walk a mile in our shoes before passing judgment.


Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:8-10

Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(Verse on the back of funeral cards at Joe’s wake.)