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statue of sad woman with head bowed

When Loss Creates Relief: “Grelief”

I have had people come in feeling guilty because of feeling relief after a loved one dies from a painful illness, or after having to put a loved one into a care facility. I explain that a sense of relief is perfectly normal and acceptable and that it does not mean that they didn’t love the person, or that they are glad that they are gone. This is always met with immediate relief.

Recently, I had a client come in with this same conversation. As he was describing his feelings of both grief and relief, he looked at me and said, “I call it ‘Grelief’ . . . grief plus relief.”

I told him that I would be taking that term and shamelessly sharing it. He smiled and agreed that he’d like for it to help other people, too.

So there we have it: Grelief, where grief and relief intersect.