Heart Attack

My husband died last year but instead of feeling sad and missing him, I find I'm very angry and bitter. He knew he had a heart condition and yet he pushed himself at work. He didn’t think about his family or me and now, I've been left alone and full of resentment. My relatives are not helping because they keep telling me how I should be feeling and asking me why I don’t cry. I really don’t understand my own reactions and it’s adding to my overall unhappiness. Can you explain it to me?
Mrs. S., N.S.W.

First of all, don’t let anyone tell you how you should be feeling or dealing with your emotional responses. That is very personal territory and varies from individual to individual.

There are, however, distinct stages in the bereavement process that have been isolated through study of this subject and one of them is anger. That’s obviously the stage you’re at now.

Rationally, I'm sure you don’t really blame your husband for dying but anger is often a disguise for pain. When you’re ready, the tears will flow, and the grief will wash away all the uncertainty of the present. Trust and go with your feelings. It may be appropriate to seek bereavement counselling in the meantime.

Body Talk Column is hosted by Charmaine Saunders. www.charmainesaunders.comSend your requests to femail@femail.com.au attention Charmaine.