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Is it a sin to laugh at a relative’s death because you are glad you don’t have to deal with them anymore?

Death is the penalty for sin.  It is because of Satan’s influence that we have been experiencing death and the dying process, so it is not something that is funny, comical or that should be welcomed or celebrated under normal circumstances.  However, we’ve all heard the expression “better off dead” when referring to a person who was either so heinous and cruel in their lifetime that death is a way to silence their tormenting others, or when a person is suffering so greatly that the sleep of death is a welcome relief from their agony.  Death would be a good thing if the person was so depraved that to continue down that path would give them little hope of learning righteousness when they are resurrected in God’s future kingdom.  

Death is an emotional time and different emotions may surface during the process of arranging for the accoutrements around the event of a funeral.  A person’s death might strike you as ironic or untimely, and certainly a relief in some cases.  Laughing “because you don’t have to deal with them anymore” is a sad situation.  Relief of those left behind, especially exhausted caregivers, is a normal emotion that certainly could be peaceful or even happy that the difficult and sometimes overwhelming care of the loved one is over. But this is a response based on the deceased best interests – it is a kind thought and not a vindictive or mean one.

If the deceased was so difficult, cruel or unliked during life that people are feeling such jubilation that he or she is dead, this is a sad situation and should make us all think about how we are conducting ourselves when dealing with others.  As Christians, we should be evidencing the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23). We should strive to be a blessing to others and to let the light of God shine wherever we are.  

Finding a relative’s death “funny” (as in ha ha) seems like an inappropriate response.  Sin is anything that “misses the mark.”  An honest prayer asking for forgiveness if anything you have done, said or thought was displeasing to God, or has unnecessarily hurt someone else, would be appropriate.

For more on how to deal with grief visit our resource page: https://christianquestions.com/grief/

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