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poofandmook's avatar

How can one be extremely happy and very sad all at the same time?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) August 12th, 2010

My life is finally turning around… and I’m over the moon right now.

But then last night, I got a call from @scamp, who some of you know is a co-worker and close friend of mine. Her grandson, about 2 weeks shy of his second birthday, drowned yesterday. He’s in a coma, completely brain dead, and they’re taking him off life support today sometime.

I keep going back and forth between being so happy for myself, and yet so profoundly sad for my friend and her family.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? When your emotions were on both ends of the spectrum from one minute to the next? How do you not feel guilty for being happy during a tragedy?

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29 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I remind myself that Life is Too Short and the death of such a young person only hammers this point home and removes a big part of that guilt I used to feel about wanting to living life to it’s fullest. Now I just do it and feel great every step of the way.

perspicacious's avatar

Because we have different things going on in our lives at the same time. Some may be happy, others sad.

wundayatta's avatar

I think that if you think you are doing the best for your friend that you can, you have no reason to feel guilty. She will want you to also be happy about the things that make you happy. You do not have to don sackcloth for her (unless you want to).

christos99's avatar

Poofandmook, your emotions are natural, how can one not feel pain for someone’s loss, however you have mentioned that your life has finally turned around and you are happy. Continue on the right path, and mourn for the poor child and support the family…

CMaz's avatar

That is pretty much how I roll.

No matter how happy I am, I feel sad deep inside.

Austinlad's avatar

Yes. It’s called meloncholy. Interetingly, I saw a wondeful play on the subject two weeks ago.

janbb's avatar

Just let yourself feel what you feel and don’t feel guilty about the happiness you feel for yourself. The swings are all appropriate feelings and it’s all very human.

I am so sad for scamp; it must be a nightmare.

HoneyBee's avatar

@ChazMaz – That’s how I am too.
Nice to know I’m not the only one.

NaturallyMe's avatar

It’s very easy to feel that way, i also have. During May this year, i was preparing for my wedding at the end of May, so ofcourse i was uber excited and everything, however, that’s also the time when i had to have my beloved kitty of 20 years put down because it was just her time and she had stopped eating a week prior. :( That was about 2 weeks before my wedding, and it was singularly the worst day of my entire life. So i was depressed and happy all at the same time.

Austinlad's avatar

I need to correct myself about the spelling (a, not o) and meaning of the word melancholy. I thought it meant bitter-sweet, which is what I think being happy and sad at the same time is, but its definition is actually sad.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I have this happen quite often right now. I just remind myself that the two things are unrelated and it’s okay to embrace both emotions. I’m sorry for your friends loss. I can’t imagine how they are feeling right now.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Life throws a lot of crap at each of us. You can’t focus on the bad all the time, or face it, it becomes not worth going on. You have to grab the good stuff whenever it shows up. Sometimes the timing sucks, sometimes it doesn’t. My heart goes out to scamp and her family.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Oh my goodness! Let @scamp know that we are so, so sorry for her family’s loss!

Note that it doesn’t take away from the good things happening for you. You needn’t feel guilty about that. How are we to know what will happen to someone else?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I know how you feel. My relationship with J is truly joyful. At the same time, I’m still mourning Meg and I’ll never, ever, ever forget her.

TexasDude's avatar

“I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” -Perks of Being a Wallflower

The thing about being human is that you have to accept that sometimes your emotions won’t make sense. Not everything is like the movies… there is no flourish of trumpets when you feel triumphant and there aren’t usually fireworks when you fall in love. We people are strange and contradictory animals, emotionally, but that’s okay.

kess's avatar

we are meant to see both extreme of the happy sad spectrum so that we can be really and truly happy when all is said and done…..

MacBean's avatar

Oh, man, I can’t even come up with an answer right now, I’m so upset for scamp and family. D:

BoBo1946's avatar

There is always something inside of me that put a damper on anything. When I’m happy, a family member or friend will be going through a crisis and i feel for them. Life is about crisises. Either i have been in crisis, are in one now, or will be in one. Or, a family member or friend are dealing with one.

Austinlad's avatar

Often I’ll hear a piece of music or see a particular movie and I feel sad but also happy to be sad. Make sense?

chyna's avatar

Heartfelt hugs for Scamp.

Frenchfry's avatar

I too know that feeling of happy and sad.
I am sorry to here about Scamp grandchild.
I don’t know Scamp that well but to hear about any child passing away makes me sad. I have great empathy towards people.

anartist's avatar

existential tristesse combined with joie de vivre

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Very sad for Scamp and her family.

YARNLADY's avatar

Being happy and feeling empathy for some else’s sorrow is not uncommon.

scamp's avatar

Poof, don’t feel guilty for your happiness. You have had a rough road for some time now. I appreciate the concern for me and my family, but we don’t expect others to stop their lives because of our grief. I told my neice the same thing. She had a baby boy just 3 days after Max’s memorial, and they were all afraid to share their joy with us. We need to hear happy things right now.

To hear positive things in other’s lives helps us to smile, even if just for a minute, and we need all of that we can get right now. I found this thread because I got an email saying I had some private comments, and I wondered how people knew what happened, and I figured you must have posted something about it.

Thanks to all for your kind words. I don’t know how I am going to get through this except one hour, one day at a time, but I have to so I can help my daughter, and she has to because she has a daughter of her own who needs her. Her daughter is only 4 months old.

I will tell you all one thing I have learned from this: the media never tells the whole story. I’ve seen stories such as ours on the news or in the paper, and I felt sad for the child, and wondered where the parents were, and why they weren’t keeping a better eye on their child. Now I know how something like this can happen in a mere second, and I will never pass judgement on a situation like this again.

The media in our case was brutally incomplete in how they reported it. It was maddening. There was a candlelight vigil held for Max on the eve of would have been his second birthday, and it was organized by a local internet mommy group my daughter was in. I saw someone filming, but I thought it was one of the moms in the group. I was horrified to see it was ABC news, and tho it was only a short piece, they zoomed in on a picture of my daughter (who could not attend because she was sedated) and now she is afraid to leave her house. She feels like some moron will recognize her and say something cruel.

I have also learned that there are still quite a few good and compassionate people in this world. At 8:45pm EST, the time the candlelight vigil for Max’s birthday, people all around the world released a baloon for him in his honor. An internet friend of my daughter organized it, and it was a beautiful sentiment to know so many hearts wer reaching out to us in our darkest hour. It has restored faith in people for me, when I thought the world was becoming pretty much a “me first” mentality.

As a mom, one of our duties is to make the boo boos of life stop hurting when our children are small by kissing them, and hugging the child near. I cannot love my daughter’s pain away, no matter how hard I try, and I feel the ache deep into my soul. I never imagined I could be hurt so deeply. This loss is like no other, and feels like it will never heal.

chyna's avatar

Ah @scamp You’ve got me crying. {{{hugs}}}

Frenchfry's avatar

@scamp Tears in my eyes. after I read it. especially the last paragraph.

janbb's avatar

@scamp Sending you and yours love and empathy. I lost a brother when I was four and he was six, the pain eventually lessens but of course, never goes away completely.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@scamp My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I’ve taken a few hits in life, but never the loss of a child. I guess the best I can say is get through the next day and help your daughter do the same. If anything, I learned to value the people in my life that much more, because I never knew what is what like to lose one of them until I went through it.

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