It is normal. I've been in nursing for 9 years and had hundreds of deaths (did a lot of end of life care) and they were all hard to some degree. Even if I don't have a particularly emotional response, I never sleep that night.
A life is lost, it will always be hard to one extent or another. I always feel for the family left behind. Some deaths are a joyous occasion for the pt; they are no longer in pain, suffering, or being poked and prodded by us, the family or the PCP.
In the last 6 months of working at my ltc facility I've had 2 deaths on my shift.. Both were patients that had been there for years and very close to everyone at work. I cried so hard, with the family, in the bathroom alone, with my cnas. I asked another nurse when it gets easier and she said "I can't answer that everyone is different, but If you can't handle death then maybe this career is not right for you." She was right about how everyone is different and it takes time and experience on how you react, however I think that showing emotion at these times does not man I "can't handle it" it shows how much I care. The part about being sad that I find the hardest is regaining my composure for the rest of myn residents.
back in the seventies when i was in nursing school, we had a pt who declined over the weeks and was actually exhibiting all the text books signs of dying; the floor nurse took us newbies in and did a wonderful job in caring for the patient as well teaching us how to respect the deceased; it was touching and left a life long impression! to this day i remember the man's name! and yes tears at times still flow, this is life and death!
It is very normal. I have been with close to a hundred patients in my 22 years as a nurse. Worked Hospice for a while, and I think it shows how much you care and I would MUCH rather have a nurse that is tearful an emotional than one that does not care.
Yup, it is normal to feel sad...
For me, I feel sad for the survivors as I understand the grief they will experience in the coming days and months. It is not unusual for me to shed a tear or two out of compassion and empathy for them.