The reason for that mountain of emotion is, I think, what I refer to in the title, as the Domino Effect. When you have already experienced grief in your life, and then you are later faced with another moment of grief, you may feel as if the new grief echoes the old one. In other words, I was not only feeling sad because of Gijs, but also feeling for a while the way I felt when my own son died. So many familiar feelings welled up inside of me. It's unfair, he's too young, could I have done something to prevent this?
So now, when people around me die, as people sometimes do, but especially when they are young and die too early, I let myself feel the tragedy, feel the pain, relive the grief that is my own.
I don't know if it's selfish to wallow in my own grief at someone else's funeral. When someone we love dies, we think that we are the only one in the world to feel so sad.
There is the famous story of the grieving father who spoke to God and said, "Please God, you have to return my child! Bring him back to life!" and God, being kind and compassionate, said, "I will do this for you, of course. But only if you find at least one family in your village who has not suffered a loss of someone through death." And the man knocked on every door in his small village, only to discover that he was not alone.
So, while I do believe, and have been recently told as well, that it is important to focus on the joys of life, there is also a time to grieve, to remember your grief and to share your sadness with those who are grieving as well. Put very simply (because when we are grieving it's sometimes hard to think complex thoughts):
We are not alone in this world, life is not always joyful, when someone dies it is painful and it is good to cry. After that, the balance will be restored and peace will eventually return.