"Anger is a natural response, but trying to wreak vengeance by apportioning blame to ultimately counterproductive. Those who make comprehension the precondition of acceptance destine themselves to unremitting misery."
~ Anatomy of a Murder-Suicide, New York Times 12/23/2012, Andrew Solomon

My husband Doug had a full physical less than 24 hours before he died suddenly (at the age of 52) of an undiagnosed heart condition. He had experienced an alarming incident several months early - fainting while running, which is often the only precursor to sudden cardiac death. Anger - study of a man by MichelangeloClearly mistakes were made.

The other day, someone asked me "Are you angry?" I thought about this before responding. In my situation, I probably have a "right" to be angry. I know I am capable of anger. For example, I got hopping mad at a family member who advised me to "just think happy thoughts" a few days after Doug died. But to be honest, the answer is that I am not angry. I AM terribly disappointed...and deeply saddened.

When someone dies, anger is certainly a common reaction. It is one of the stages of dealing with loss. It typically precedes acceptance (although some folks never make it that far.)

Anger may be directed at the person you hold responsible. It is natural to want to blame someone when things go wrong.

It can also be directed at the person who died. You may be angry at the mess they left you with (emotionally, financially, physically, etc.) You may be angry at them for leaving you alone, even if it was not their choice. When it was their choice, as in the case of suicide, it is common to be angry at the person who made that decision.

Anger may also be directed at God, or at Life itself. In the Bible, the beleaguered Job cursed the very day he was born.

And lastly, anger can also be directed inward, which some say is the root of depression.

I am told it is not good to deny your emotions. I am told you cannot rationalize emotions away. But if anger is allowed to fester, it can be very destructive to us and those around us. It is difficult for anger and happiness to coexist. If you are angry, I hope you can move through the negative emotions, to a different place that offers you more peace.

Let it go.


"when your burden is unbearable, you either drop it, or collapse beneath the weight of it"
~ Patrick McKenna Lynch Smith, Leaving the Life: A true story of love, loss and gratitude



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