Why Do We Feel Bad For People When They Die?

Is it because . . .

  1. We miss them?
  2. We don’t believe heaven exists?
  3. We think they may have gone to hell?

If it’s the first, we don’t really feel bad for them, we feel bad for ourselves.

If it’s the second, there’s no reason to feel bad for them, because they’ll no longer suffer. Same thing if they’re in heaven.

If it’s the third, it must be because we believe the person was bad, or that God is a brute.

The third one seems like the only legit reason to feel bad for someone when they die. However, we tend not to feel bad when “bad” people die, and it’s hard for us to believe that God sends “good” people to hell.  So even this one doesn’t really work.

Maybe we fear that the person no longer exists and we can’t bare that thought. That it’s not fair that they should no longer exist, and that it’s not fair that one day we will no longer exist.

Or maybe we just fear the unknown.

It’s hard to pin down the real reason isn’t it?