This is my second installment of articles about the stages of grief. This time I’ll talk a little about anger. You can find the first installment on denial here.
Anger is a potent emotion. The loss of a loved one will probably cause you to feel anger at some point towards people and your situation. Again, this emotion is another normal stage in your grieving period, and you will get through it.
There may be anger towards the one who has passed away. You may experience a sense of abandonment, especially when you’re having a bad day.
I remember yelling at my husband for leaving me, when I was alone of course. One time I went to the cemetery and laid beside his grave and yelled and cried because I was alone after 26 years and had no clue what to do. This phase didn’t last long.
If you are feeling this way, don’t feel guilty about your anger. It’s perfectly alright.
Your anger may be directed at the doctor, hospital, or EMT personnel. You may blame them for your loved one’s death, even when the fault doesn’t lie with them. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that in some cases the fault is with these folks, but usually it’s no one’s fault.
Resentment towards God during this time can be common as well. You may think that you’re being punished for something. For others, God is their comfort and without Him they wouldn’t be able to get through this horrific time. If you are a believer, turn to God for strength and comfort.
And don’t forget your family members. They may not know what to say to make things better, but you need each other, so turn to them as well when you’re struggling with your emotions.
It’s possible that you will even get angry with yourself for not handling the issue the way you’ve seen others handle it, but death is not the same for every mourner. Don’t compare yourself to others; your situation is unique to you. We all must deal with tragedy in our own way.
There will be days when you’re mad at the world and not at anyone or anything in particular. Your anger may even be totally irrational. Don’t worry, you’re human, and this is going to happen. Just try not to lash out at your family or friends.
When you’re enraged try to work through your emotions rationally, take a deep breath, count to 10, or even scream for a few seconds (if you’re alone). Please know that you’re not crazy, you’re normal and this too shall pass. Try to remember that your loved one wouldn’t want you to be miserable-they would want you to try to be happy. Yes, this feels like a huge stretch at the beginning of your grief, but you will get there one day.
I have begun a Facebook page for widow/widower support. It’s early days, but I’m hoping it will be a help to those in need. Check it out here.