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Incredible Anger

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My father died a little over one week ago. We had the memorial service on Thursday, and then we went to my stepmother's place on Friday. Her family was there. Her family and Dad's family never lost any love over each other. They were married for over 20 years, but our families were just so different. She and her family were incredibly rude to my son, my husband and I. She got all of Dad's money and wouldn't let me have anything of his that was personal to him. Not anything. There was family land that is now hers.

I am just incredibly angry over all of this. Dad and I didn't develop our relationship until I became an adult. He left Mom and us kids after I was grown, and it was ok, I understood. And I even expected that the stepmother would do this to us. She had given us kids little hints like leaving Dad's kids out of 'family' events like Christmas. I could go on and on.

So, of course I am angry at her. This I understand. I am also angry at Dad for leaving us all over again. I understand that, too. But what do I do with all of this anger? My sister wants to keep in touch with the stepmother because she doesn't get along with our own mother. I can't even stand the idea of ever talking to her again. She has used us in ways that would take hours to write about. Her own children and her mother were even extremely angry with her. So, I can say goodbye to her.

It just hurts so much to be so angry with my Dad. He chose her over us every time. I know that I have to forgive them, but how do I get through the anger to get there? I've heard of people losing their jobs over the grieving after their loved one has died. I'm journaling and talking to friends. But, in the end, it just seems that people just want to hear what they feel comfortable with: That everything is fine.



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Dear One,

You said "I know that I have to forgive them, but how do I get through the anger to get there?" and I think your question is an important one. Before you can get to forgiveness, your anger must be acknowledged and worked through. I hope you'll find this post relevant and helpful:


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Thanks, Marty. Your post did help, and thanks for validating my need to be angry. I think that my stepmother and I just tried to protect Dad in different ways. He died of pancreatic cancer and I just didn't want him to suffer. She wanted him to live as long as he could. We just didn't agree, nor were either of us particularly reasonable about our expectations of him. However, we have been communicating through e-mail, and I think this is a great tool for us. Considering how my family members have been describing Dad in his last two weeks (I live in another state), whatever anger I had with Dad, I forgave, because he paid any price he owed to anyone with terrible agony.

Thanks again,


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