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It’s OK to Feel Nothing When Someone You Love Dies

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Written by Lara

People dying sucks. It hurts and they’re gone and you can’t bring them back and you’ll never get to hug them again. Sometimes it takes all you have to not cry for just fifteen minutes a day.

And then sometimes you feel absolutely nothing at all.

The site What’s Your Grief — besides being an awesome resource for all things grief — has a really good article if this is you.

PD New Beginning

Feeling Nothing During Grief: The disorienting experience of emotional numbness

The emotional numbness sometimes experienced in grief can feel especially disturbing because after a death you expect to feel so much. You might wonder, “What is wrong with me?!?! Why don’t I feel anything?!? Maybe I’m not a human being at all. Oh no, what if I’m a sociopath?!? Or a robot?!?” Feeling nothing during grief is alienating and isolating because everyone else seems pretty in touch with their feelings. You know you’re sad about the death, but you can’t actually access the emotions and so you feel different than others grieving the death.

Give it a read, and maybe check out the rest of the site as well. And know that you’re not alone.



  • But I’m not feeling anything. At all. No other emotions. And I’m. It grieving…
    My grandfather is about to die and I literally feel nothing. All I said when my mother told me was “oh”, then I cracked a few jokes to lighten the mood.
    I know he is dying. I knew he was going to die- well… sort of. Ish.
    Anyway, I don’t feel sad, I’m not in pain, I’m not grieving, I’m just “alright, yeah he’s dying. Kk.”

    • Sounds familiar my grandparent died unexpedtly last month and when my mom called me and told me i felt nothing i was actually trying to sound sad over the phone but that was about it. Even at the wake and funeral i didnt cry or feel sad i just relfected upon the awesome shit my grandfather had done with his life and i felt happy for him

    • I feel the exact same way Soletchka.
      The thing is, when I start thinking about it a lot, I start to get sad, I just can’t cry. Otherwise, I don’t feel that sad.

    • This reminds me when I felt nothing when I lost 2 family members, I’m 14 and I don’t feel anything, I’ve known them for years and idk why I don’t feel any emotions at all when it comes to death.

  • Same thing here . i feel nothing …when my grandma died everybody cried and was grieving yet i was there feeling nothing . trying so hard to feel sad but couldn’t ( that was about 10 years ago) and today my new pre mature born sister just passed out and i am still feeling nothing . it’s like nothing happened . I still try so hard to feel sad or anything but i just feel nothing . Am i a cold parson ……………..

  • I know how you feel.. My mother died and I was not even mentioned as one of the surviving children. I read about it online, as I am the black sheep of the family and did everything I could to help my parents, but I was always the outcast. I think sometimes we have been hurt so much we just stopped feeling long ago…

  • I think the reason is that you’re are not sad is because you are not selfish, then you thus won’t grieve over someone’s death…

    Explanation: Sadness or grieving after someone’s death is common, but why is never for sure, but most guesses are selfishness. Explanation for why it is selfishness, is because you usually feel cut off from the person who has died, all the happiness, laughter, joy, experiences, stories, these are things that person who passed away might of gave you when alive, and you feel sad that you cant get those things from them anymore, because of death.

    So continuing, if you don’t feel sad, then that means you aren’t selfish, because it doesn’t bother You that You lost this person, and won’t be able to “profit” (Truth is hard) from your relationship with that person.

    P.S: “profit” in this case doesn’t have to do with earning more money than you loss. Simply just means gaining something after spending your time on that person. Whether or not, this time given to that person was on purpose or not for “profit”, doesn’t matter.

    Extra thing: Relationship is investment, when the person is alive you “profit,” but the moment he/she or pet or other companion, dies, You can’t profit, thus you would usually feel sad, or not in these cases, because you don’t care about what you lose when that person dies or can’t gain from that person death.

    (Kewl m8 my longest comment eva bro lit fam dab on the h8ers, and dab on the h8ters of this sentence.) <– My watermark. I made when I was young :l


    Use, for extra info…

    Note: None of this comment is actually my original thoughts…XD

  • i still feel something is wrong with me i am in medical profession nurse husband died 8 weeks ago loved him i am 70 years old we married divorced and married again after many years apart i cant cry have not cried had to rehome my dog at same time and yet cried my heart out over that i am anxious cant sleep and restless is this normal

  • When my dog died, I knew it was sad, but I felt nothing. It wad like nothing had happened. Usually, when pets and stuff die I just end up comforting my family and being sympathetic, to kind of distract them from the fact that I literally feel nothing. Usually I get the talk about “it’s okay to be sad” or “Why aren’t you crying? Are you that selfish that you just don’t care?” What happens if a family member dies and I can’t even cry? Is there something wrong with me?

  • i’m same too. just my father died. actually i felt norhing. but my aunts cry a lot. so i’m angry with them. but not sure angry with them for crying on funural to my father or just because i can’t cry. so confusing. maybe i’m not human at all. is it okay. i’m student.

  • I just lost my daughter. She was a still born. I cried a few times but I don’t feel as sad as anyone else in my family. They keep telling me this is one of the worst and saddest feeling I’ll ever feel in life but I don’t feel sad. I’m upset but I’m not saddened by our loss.

    And Not feeling sad MAKES ME SAD because I feel like scum for not feeling grief like I “should”.

    • I’m sorry that no one around you, is understanding your process through this time period. And I am additionally sorry that the whole situation is making you feel like scum. You are your daughter’s mother, you know the gravity of this event without anyone having to tell you. Please keep in mind that this is your process and no one has any right to tell you how it should go for you. This stuff is extremely individual. If you are getting by, then you are doing alright in my book. And if you think/feel/worry that something should be different then I would urge you to seek counseling to sort it out. There are many others out there similar to you, you are not alone.

  • I don’t have a reaction to death of anyone. Pets are different. I think I attribute it to my beliefs. I believe life dosnt end when our body dies and it’s actually a good thing because we get to go home after this life. I feel happy for whoever it is. Rather than have a funeral I’d rather have a celebration of life. I don’t think anything is wrong with it.

    • I literally made a decision to comment on this just becasue of how you said pets were different, hilariously, exactly the same for me. Does kinda make me feel selfish because I’ve really considered Pets > People when it comes to life and death, but damn I could not handle my pet dying.

  • Yeah. My grandfather died and I feel nothing. I’m like: “Yeah, I don’t care. My life is mine, his life is his. By the way, I missed lessons.” Is this bad or cruel? But I did feel a bit awkward. I tried to act casual and I was too anxious about my attendance that I was like: “Ya. I Could care less.” Am I weird? By the way, I’m in middle school.

  • My mother died of her alcoholism in November 2018. We had been somewhat estranged for several years prior to her death. It is now May 2020 and I still haven’t cried though I feel intense guilt and some sincere loss. “What if’s”. I feel I let her down. But she let me down too. Now I have no true closure.

    But I can cry over a pet.

  • My mom has breast cancer and I’m terrified because I don’t feel anything about the situation. I want to just fall down and cry my eyes out but I can’t, every time I try it just doesn’t work and I want to tell my parents how I feel but I can’t even do that cause I have nothing to tell them. I just feel alone, like I’m trapped in a room full of emotions but when I try to get closer they just avoid me. I try over and over and over again but nothing, I’m just stuck in a cage with emotions, useless emotions that don’t even work. I know whoever sees this might think I’m making this up or is going through something worse but I just had to get it out cause it’s killing me.

  • My mum died 2 weeks ago and I just feel empty. I think of her and try to dredge up some emotion and then feel like there’s something wrong with me when I can’t. My sister feels the same, not grieving properly, she was with mum before she died and mum was nasty to her right up to the last. She was a narcissist and showed us no love or affection growing up. As adults she would always tell us she loved us and hug us, but we just went stiff. As well as these displays of affection, she would say nasty things behind our backs, call us names etc. and begrudge anything Dad gave us. Dad is lovely but very passive and has put her first during 67 years of marriage, so she just had a tantrum and we didn’t get a look in. So much negativity to look back on and I try and try to think of any loving moments, it all felt so false. Now I am left feeling nothing when I feel I should be crying. My brother died of an overdose 26 years ago and his death devastated us…this just doesn’t feel the same. I feel very angry that when my sister was in hospital with severe depression, she told them to keep her there because she couldn’t cope…washing her hands of having to be a mother. Maybe I’ll never feel anything……

  • i feel the same.
    i dont ever feel bad, i dont ever feel any sort of guilt or sorriness for those who have died.
    my grandmother’s dog died, of which, i loved her from the bottom of my heart. but when i heard that she died i just felt nothing towards it, i wasn’t affected by it at ALL. i went by with the day like normal and even laughed in awkwardness when i heard abour her death. (no, i wasn’t happy, but i do laugh or giggle when i dont know how to respond to something ‘correctly’))— my aunt also died a year ago and i feel nothing. i spent time with her and bonded with her all i could, she even took me to the beach one time as a kid so i could feel better after scraping my knee.
    **(haha from here on out its just me rambling i guess)**
    i have always been very unaffected by death. my slight narcissim may be part in this, but it’s not a huge part of my life. i don’t insult others or talk bad about others like most would think i do because im a narcissist. im just very confident in a way..m idk-
    but, yeah, same. i feel nothing towards death, i had a very good childhood with almost no trauma besides for abuse from the age of 9 to 13… even then, i wasnt upset by it. i didnt feel angry or sad that my parents did this, but instead developed narcissim.. i dont know how but im diagnosed, too. its 2:41am.. sorry if there are many mispellings.
    **(ramblind ended aa)**
    besides from my narcissim, i dont ever feel guilt from death. im not phased by it, im not sad because of it, and i am ESPECIALLY not one to think of the past and have always had a motto of marching forward.

    i wondered if it was just me but apparently not.

  • So sorry you were abused, maybe that’s why you have built up such a wall around yourself to prevent you from any more hurt, I wish you all the best in the future.

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