Anger and Grief

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can be felt in many ways. Grief’s impact can be emotional, social, spiritual, physical and financial. It is as individual as the person you loved and lost. Grieving while living away from family and friends can be especially difficult. This is a place where you can share your thoughts, and get ideas on how to cope. It is here for you to get support and validation.

Anger and Grief

Postby andrearivagetz » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:36 am

Anger is a normal response to loss but it can be unfamiliar and overwhelming. Where does the anger even belong? Should anger be directed at yourself, your loved one, the doctors, God? Sometimes the difficulty accepting a loss makes us focus on anger first. It may be a way of avoiding the enormity of the loss. We focus rather on who is responsible. It may be an effort to try to have control over a situation that cannot be controlled. It is what we do with angry feelings that matters in the end. Anger can become toxic or it can be acknowledged and lead toward a softening of the loss. If you have experienced anger, how have you worked through it? Many use anger as a stepping stone to create change. There can be a shift from anger to action. Energy once saved to express anger may now go into starting a foundation to raise awareness and honor your loved one. Some overcome anger and develop a new skill or hobby, anything from meditation or distance running to creating a garden Crying itself can release anger. Journaling your thoughts and feelings can give voice to your anger and help you move through it. If you have or continue to struggle with anger please share effective ways you have found to attend to your anger and re-direct your energy toward healing.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby willow4peace » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:56 am

After two of my loved ones died four and a half months apart, I realized I had a lot of anger inside of me. I wasn't mad at God. I was mad about a lot of things. I was angry at the people close to me that said things like,"Get over it!" and other hurtful comments. Maybe I was angry because I didn't have control over the situation. I never thought of that. All I know is that the pain was too much to bear, and at times it still is. The anger was directed at myself, I was at fault. I cried too much, according to everyone. I couldn't accept my losses or the intense criticism. I did start writing in a journal. I had been unsuccessful in the past at trying to keep a journal. This time it worked. I wrote about everything that hurt inside of me. The part of my anger that was toxic had an outlet. Screaming helped too. I let out a scream in the car, alone of course, a few times. It felt good.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby willow4peace » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:30 am

I have experienced feelings of anger after the deaths of two family members. They died 4- 1/2 months apart. My support system was gone. I was never mad at God. I became mad at people close to me that said hurtful things. I was told to stop my darn crying, get over it, they are in a better place with no more pain, etc.. They may be in a better place, but I'm here trying to cope with my losses. I was criticized for everything I did and didn't do. I was accused of sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, not eating enough, not locking the door right, not caring about anything, and walking around like a zombie. A lot of it was true. I was barely existing, I was walking in a dense fog. I wanted to run away, far away. Each negative comment said to me was like a dagger piercing my already broken heart. I was angry at people who should love me. I directed the anger at myself instead of at them. I was at fault.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby willow4peace » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:59 am

Looking back, I am ashamed of myself for letting anger get a grip on me. I couldn't deal
with my situation around me. Going to work or sleeping was my only escape. I never thought about it, but maybe I was trying to have control over a situation that I really couldn't control. I screamed, a lot, in the car was best. I was alone. I scared myself when I found myself driving recklessly on more than one occasion. Crying was my best friend, and still is. Crying helps release all of the strong emotions of grief, even the negative ones of anger. I started a journal, after the advice of my Bereavement Coordinator and my thoughts and feelings were released on paper. Sometimes I re-read those journal entries just to see where I have been. My anger was toxic then, but no longer.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby willow4peace » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:00 am

A few weeks ago my anger resurfaced, but it was different this time. I remembered what people said right after the death of my loved one, when I was numb from shock. Remember that feeling? This survival mode gets you through all the funeral planning and the actual day of it, and then some. It did for me. My loved one was a strong woman, I get that. The anger that surfaced really surprised me, or rather shocked me. My loved one went to the hospital on a Sunday and was dead and gone by Saturday. These conversations with neighbors and friends after she was gone revealed that she knew she was sick and she told them, without us even having a clue. My loved one told people how sick and how much pain she was in nearly 3 months before she died. I was angry in so many ways. I felt so badly cheated out of more time, if I only knew what they knew. Part of me is still angry...
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby willow4peace » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:32 am

I was cheated out of knowing that my loved one was really sick. She told friends, but not family, how much pain she was in. Anger pulsed through my body like a raging storm. It came out of nowhere, a surprise attack. These friends had information I needed at the time. Why didn't they fill me in on their secret ? A few months of being able to say all the things that are really important. A few short months to prepare for the letting go and final send-off. The compilation of years of gratitude and love that could have been expressed on the last lap of her life. I was mad at my strong and beautiful other Mom who chose not to tell me her secret. We were so close-how could I be so BLIND. How dare I be mad at her, but I was, and still am. How horrible I feel. How horrible I am. Her last few days at home dying were non-verbal. I longed for a two-way conversation like we always shared. Anger lingers,this new and unwelcome anger over what cannot be changed. Only I can change. How can I ask forgiveness of someone who is gone from my life? How can I even begin to forgive myself? This is the wrestling match going on in my head.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby m_postotnik » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:01 am

Thank you willow4peace for acknowledging and sharing your feelings of anger. It's so important to let one's feelings of anger out in an appropriate way, not hurting oneself or others. Sometimes people lash out in anger towards others in order to make themselves feel better. In their woundedness, they can be verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive to the people around them. This is unproductive 1) because this behavior hurts others who don't deserve it; 2)because it hurts their relationships and they lose the support they so desperately need; 3)the anger is not focused around the grief and loss, therefore it is not resolved. Others turn their anger in on themselves because they don't think they deserve the right to express anger or have shame about being angry. They may feel the anger is illogical therefore they "shouldn't" feel angry, or they feel it is too much of a burden to put on others. But anger is a normal feeling and is just one more of the feelings in our repertoire as humans.
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Re: Anger and Grief

Postby d_butler » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:40 pm

Many children experience feelings of anger after the death of a loved one. Most of their anger is a direct result of the death and the changes that have occurred in their lives. Some of those changes might be a change in guardian, home, school, friends and overall support network. Children like adults need time to work through their anger. Many children benefit from talking to a trusted adult or friend, engaging in the arts, seeking individual grief support or joining a grief support group. If your child is struggling with feelings of anger, validate their feelings first. Let them know that it is normal to be anger and commend them for being brave and sharing their feelings with you. Bereaved children want to know that they are not alone in their "big feelings" of grief. However if you are concerned about your child's behavior please seek support from your local grief support center or mental health agency.
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