I’m late in getting my mid-month grief blog published. One huge reason, although the Christmas season provided its own, was contributing to a grief anthology. The publisher wanted personal stories. As part of my process, I found it interesting to see how many times I remembered feelings of frustration and anger. In hindsight I see they were healthy contributions to my process of grief and have dissolved over time.
Too often we think these feelings are negative, so we deny them thinking we’re protecting our well-being. Keep in mind as long as they are not harmful to you or others, we can take our time to work through them. Anger is one emotion that is often misunderstood.
It is not uncommon to see both deep-seated anger and/or easily-fused anger in grief. Anger can surface for many reasons. It is sometimes mixed with fear of the unknown. This happens especially when individuals are not informed about what happened, how or why. Often they want answers even at times when there are none. They can be angry at God, doctors, ministers, funeral directors, neighbours, family and friends, even themselves. There is no end to the list. Yet, once they understand, anger often dissolves. Unfortunately, we sometimes think grief is about emotions and experience. But, grief is as much about knowledge and learning as it is about feelings.
People can shy away from used and abused one-liner religious clichés. Many choose to work through a logical and practical process. This is another good beginning to understanding grief.
Granger Westberg wrote this: “When we say anger and resentment are a part of “good grief,” we probably should qualify this . . . these feelings are normal for every human, and that even the most devout persons can very well feel angry and resentful, even though we try very hard to sublimate these feelings (Good Grief (1971) p.61) Fortress Press).” He suggests that we face these emotions and in time rise above them.
Take a few moments and write down some facts and feelings about anger in your grief journal.