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Dealing with anger after death


My uncle just passed away, and my mom and her sister are very close. But now even though my mom was always there to support her she is angry at her and yells at her. Is this a normal sign of greiving?

If your Mom and your Aunt have shared a close relationship until the death of your Uncle, your Aunt is probably grieving and your Mom may be the target of her anger. When a person is grieving, their world is turned upside down and nothing seems normal. Your Mom may be the one constant in her life and therefore your Aunt may take all of her frustrations out on your Mom because she is the one constant thing in her life when nothing seems real or normal. Your Aunt needs to find out what the "new normal" is for her what that will mean for her future. She may be scared of facing the future alone. She has lost the support and companionship of her husband and all the roles he filled in her life. It is not unusual for us to strike out at the people who are closest to us. Your Aunt may be frustrated at all the things she has had to take responsibility for and all the changes that she has had to make since the death of your Uncle. Grief work is hard work!!! And it is very tiring. Encourage your Mom to "hang in there" and if the anger becomes too much to handle, encourage your Mom to talk with your Aunt. She might not even be aware that she is responding to your Mom in such a manner. I don't know how long your Uncle has been dead but if it has been over a year and your Aunt is still so angry, she might find a bereavement support group helpful or she might benefit from individual counseling. No two people grieve the same way and there is no magical timeline for how long it takes someone to grieve. It is very hard work and it does take time to adjust to the new life. Offer patience and understanding but don't be afraid to confront your Aunt if needed. I hope this is helpful. - Jan Borgman

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