When A Parent Dies…Is It Normal To Feel Angry?

when a parent dies

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

When a parent dies, there are many emotions felt, and the devastating experience is different for everyone. One thing I did not expect to feel when my dad died a few weeks ago was anger. I found myself absolutely furious at trivial issues, and if something didn’t go perfectly well, I was all bent out of shape, 100 times worse than I would be normally. I came to realize that the anger was masking my broken heart. 

Is It Normal To Feel Angry After A Parent Dies? by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press

No one can tell you how you are going to feel when one of your parents dies. So when my father passed away a few weeks ago, I assumed I was going to be immensely sad, simply because that would make sense, right?

While I did experience devastation and sorrow, I felt something else, which was unexpected: anger. Over the next couple weeks, I found myself feeling livid, heated and argumentative with others. Any daily situation that didn’t go perfectly well caused me to become furious and distressed.

Click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    2 Responses to “When A Parent Dies…Is It Normal To Feel Angry?”

    1. Geralyn Austin

      My condolences on the loss of your father Jackie. We attended Mt. Lebanon high school together many years ago. I remember the flares of anger as my father battled a short, brutal cancer. It was the helplessness of watching my dignified dad be ravaged and made small. Pissed me off to no end. But every time friends asked about my dad, I would always thank them. I appreciated being able to share my pain and now I always ask, knowing the answers are often hard to hear. Be well.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        thank you so much. I truly appreciate your reaching out. I’m so sorry about your dad, too.


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