Chapter 4: What’s different about grief after MAiD?
One minute I was relieved she did not have a prolonged death, but the next minute I was angry at her because she chose to leave me earlier. And then I was just paralyzed with intense sadness, followed by a sense of peace. And then the cycle started all over again.
You may be experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, which is normal and expected. You may find yourself feeling guilty for having a sense of relief that the person’s suffering is over. You might have supported the person’s decision, while also wishing for more time with them. Taking comfort in knowing that their suffering has ended does not mean that you are glad the person died.
Click on the following box for additional thoughts and emotions:
Comforted knowing they are no longer suffering
Supportive of their “last wish”
Gratitude for having witnessed their peaceful death
Grateful they died on their own terms
Questioning or disagreeing with the decision
Regret about things left undone or unsaid
Sense of guilt about feelings of relief
Wanting more time with the person
What may help
Recognizing and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings, even if they are conflicting, can be the first steps toward moving through your grief. Try not to judge yourself for how you are feeling.
Some people have found it helpful to talk with a trusted friend or family member, or to join a support group for those who are grieving after a MAiD death. Others choose to write thoughts and feelings down, even if they are kept private. Some people have found it more helpful to focus on tasks. Sometimes it’s both.
It’s normal and healthy to move toward your grief sometimes, and to take a break from it at other times.