Mate Died, She's Angry
Q: My husband died, and I am a bundle of feelings. Most of all, I feel hatred about the way it happened. Please give me some helpful advice on what to do. -- Leslie, 40
Dr. Susan: First, I'm so sorry for your loss. Every one of the emotions in your "bundle of feelings" is no doubt similar to what's experienced by many of those left behind by an untimely death. I recommend you find someone you can talk to, friend or paid counselor, to validate your emotions. You didn't give a hint as to why you're so angry, but since you can't go back in time to change what happened, and you can't ever tell your husband how you feel (whether it's him you're angry at or some doctor or drunk driver or ?), you must find another way to sort out those feelings. Consider keeping a journal as a safe place to explore your emotions.
Remember, any death takes a while to process, and with a lot of unfinished business left behind, your emotions may be messy and troubled for some time yet. Those young widows/widowers groups at local hospitals are helpful for many people. All of us at some time have to come to an acceptance of reality, as infuriating as it is. I'm not saying you have to push yourself to forgive anyone. That may come with time.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.