Grief and anger often collide. Remember those 5 stages of grief? First on the list is denial and then comes number two on that list ANGER. Have you experienced grief and found yourself feeling angry? Don’t forget that everyone grieves differently. Your anger may not have come in perfect order as the list goes. Your anger (and all “stages” of grief) can come and go at any time and in any order. It may be a week after your loss or it could be a decade after.
Anger shows up when you are in pain in many ways. Anger can be directly related to the loss of a loved one or it can spread out and affect your general mood. Your anger may be expressed in other areas that seem unrelated to grief and loss. A little self reflection may just reveal that your grief and anger are intertwined.
Grief and anger come together when there is trauma the heart can’t make sense of. Why?
When a loss of any kind occurs we often ask, why? This question can be legitimate wondering why or even what happened. If you don’t have a lot of information about the ultimate cause of death, not knowing why can cause a lot of confusion and anger.
The question, ‘why’ can also extend into a questioning of ourselves in how we could have helped to avoid the death of a loved one. Losing someone no matter what the circumstances is hard and it’s normal to experience anger with the question, why?
It’s Not Fair
There are so many different circumstances and causes around death. No matter the circumstance you have dealt with, death is hard. Saying goodbye to someone you love is like no other experience in the world. Some don’t get to say goodbye. Not everyone gets to give a last hug or have that last conversation knowing it will be the last.
It is easy to say it’s not fair when loss happens and it is out of order. When a parent has to bury a child it is out of order and totally blows up the dreams and expectations we have for the way life should be. We say it’s not fair and anger ensues.
This quote does a great job of expressing the connection between grief and anger.
“-I sat with anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief.”
Don’t ignore the anger part of grief. Embrace it, explore it, feel it in a healthy way for as long as you need. Anger is a normal part of grief and it may show up at random times. For additional grief support go here.