Q2. My grandfather died a few days ago. My mother and father both seem really depressed over his death, but I feel fine. I'm not depressed. Since I'm not as sad as the rest of my family, I wonder if they think I didn't love him. Is there something wrong with me?

A2.

Just because you aren't feeling sad or depressed at the moment doesn't mean that you didn't love your grandfather. Since it was important enough for you to ask the question, I am sure you loved your grandfather as much as everyone else.

Grief is different for everybody and often comes in waves. One day things are fine and you're looking forward to exciting things, and the next day something hits you that throws you into the dumps. This might happen one summer day when you start remembering the fishing trips you went on with your grandfather and suddenly realize that there will never be a fishing trip with your granddad again. Or, you might be playing in a baseball game and see a man who looks like your grandfather. For an instant you start to call out to him, only to remember that he's dead! It is at times like these that the full impact of the loss will hit you, bringing on a period of sadness or even depression.

You may not be feeling the impact of your grandfather's death as much as your mother and father because they are dealing with the death of a parent, and that hurts a lot no matter how old you may be. Your grief is different partly because you are a generation removed from your grandfather. You may have known and loved your grandfather since you were born, but think how many more years he was an important part of your parents' lives. That doesn't mean that you won't feel sad and miss your grandfather very much, but your grief is bound to be different from that of your parents. You need not feel guilty about this, nor should anyone expect you to.