Anger And Depression Are A Real Part of the Grief Process

Anger and depression are a big part of the grief experience. One should not be afraid to say that he or she is angry over the death of a loved one or at the deceased for dying. No one needs to feel guilty that she or he is angry or depressed. It is best to find someone who will hear our anger and allow us to acknowledge this emotions so that we can continue to move through the grief process. Anger and Depression can become silent within us and we may not recognize that this is what we are feeling.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross studied near death experiences as her life work. She also wrote several great books. The one I think that is the most known about is, On Death And Dying. It was her life work. She is also known for saying, “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.” 

She is famous for her Five Stages Of Grief. The acronym is DABDA. To me, it stands for “DAB DA tears from your eyes.” It is just something I came up with to help me remember it during my studies in becoming a Thanatologist. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

These are five of the many stages that we are thought to experience with loss. Sometimes, the loss that is experienced is a loss of a sense of self. We feel out of sorts or out of control.  We are not used to feeling a rush of so many emotions coming at us all at the same time.  It is okay to experience highs and lows throughout this type of journey. After the death of one we care for we begin mourning what was and what will never be again. This is normal. All of the above mentioned stages and more should be expected.  There is no order that they occur in. The steps can also be dealt with and forgotten or re-lived throughout the process or a whole life.  It can be helpful if we accept that emotions felt should be accepted as part of your individual journey.  It is okay to acknowledge them as we feel them.  A journal can help with this.  It will help us be able to look back on yesterday or our last note and see that what we were feeling was real and not just imagined during a fog of feelings.  

We should try to accept the grief journey and allow ourselves and our families to actively feel all of it. Know that feeling Depressed and Angry it is normal.  There will be times when it does not seem real and denial takes over.  We just keep going as if nothing happened.  Know that this too is okay.  If life seems to come to a standstill because of grief that is okay too.  Oftentimes, people outside of the loss feel that we should just get over our grief and move on.  It should not linger.  This too is a form of denial because this is not the natural way of grief.  Our society does not know how to deal with it.  

Confusion can take over during times when we feel that we have moved on then, suddenly, memories of the deceased or an event that involved the person such as a moment of helplessness in another situation can trigger us to feel our loss all over again.  We can feel mad or sad that others do not miss our loved one in the same way we do.  We all grieve differently; we heal in our own time.

It can be hard to recognize that the feelings and emotions we are feeling  are directly related to our grief.  Awareness that times will be hard is a big part of knowing how to react to an emotion.  If we start to get irritable or frustrated, try to stop and think were we thinking about our loved one just before that emotion was triggered.  Were we hours or days ago involved in clearing out their home or did we stumble across an item of theirs that started a memory just before it happened.  Consciously talk yourself through the situation. Realize that a great deal of anger and depression is connected to fear. We can try and talk ourselves through pain by bargaining that if we stop doing the things that trigger the emotion then the emotion will disappear. In reality, it will resurface fairly soon in some way. It is helpful to acknowledge that people, in general, are afraid of all the rush of emotions that we do not normally think about as all happening at once are going to be doing so for a while.  

If we are not personally dealing with grief and we know someone that is give them this information.  Place it where they can find it. Leave hints in notes saying things like “It is okay to be mad that you no longer have your loved one with you.” Give them moments of our time to tell their story.  Storytelling is so important for the healing process.  It allows us to unconsciously and/or consciously address our concerns.  If we are angry, then telling a story about anger can lead us to understand why we are angry.   The story will generally be closely connected to the feeling being expressed.  For example, if someone is telling us a story about something that made them angry they are indirectly or directly relating to the cause of the anger and the emotion itself.  If someone is telling a story about something their loved one did that made them angry, they are directly talking through the anger. Active listening can be hard, but it really can help people heal faster.

If someone is having an especially hard time working through their grief please guide them toward help.  Many culture avoid grief because of the intensity of the emotions surrounding it more than we are taught to deal with.  Face grief as a real part of living, so we can help each other heal and move through it together.

I became a Thanatologist to help families know what their options are when it comes to dealing with end of life issues. Families often argue about who is in charge of the sick. The hospital did not offer us a mediator or a grief counselor. I took graduate classes at Hood College in Frederick Maryland and I earned my Certificate in Thanatology. I am two classes from my Master’s in this field. Like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and many others like her, I hope to help families know that the death of a loved one does not have to be surrounded by hard feeling that the pull us apart as we try control all that is happening in and around us.  Grief Counseling should be offered by every hospital, especially the ones that handle a lot of complicated deaths that involve things like organ transplant patients be they the giver or the receiver.  Families of patients who are at the end of their life be it through chronic illness should be more open to receiving help from those that dedicate their lives to finding answers for all that go through this, and we all do eventually whether it be by sudden, unexpected, death or following a chronic illness. It was not until I discovered the Thanatology course did I even know that there was a such thing as grief counseling.

If you find yourself unable to publicly talk to someone about your feelings of Sadness and Anger, please leave me a comment at the end of this posting and together we can figure out what you should do next.

 

 

6 comments

  1. you’ve been through a lot and I was thinking I am the one who is having a lot of problems in my life. Your blog gave me a real understanding of what grief really is and what way it should be treated. The only problem with me is, that I don’t even know how to put it in words when I am sad and angry or something. I just wanna cry and I see myself all alone and nobody around to care for how much tears I’ve cried. I know it’s nothing but can’t people in this world have a little, only a little care of each other to let the world be a happy place? I know it’s never gonna happen due to our so called “Life” and our standards to be one step froward from others…

    • I apologize for taking so long to respond to your request. My latest posting explains that I have been away working toward a worthy cause. I do not want you to feel alone. I do not have a computer of my own where I am at, but I am willing to log on and chat with you whenever you just need to talk to someone. Please feel free to say to me the things that others cannot hear. I may not get to respond to your thoughts immediately, but I promise that I will get back to you. I do not know what your are experiencing at this time, but I am willing to listen and give you an outlet. I hope that you will take advantage of this. Together, we can get through this world and manage to hold our heads up and face another day. This journey we are on, is as individual as flowers are. We all know that we are part of a bigger plan, we just don’t know where tomorrow will or will not lead us to. I look forward to hearing more from you and thank you for your response to my little blog. I only want to be real in a world where people are always playing pretend, whether this is a conscious or unconscious decision.

    • It has been a long time since I have even opened my page. I have moved and my computer was stolen. I am just now getting back on line with my new net book. How are you doing? I would like to know what is going on with you. Anything you want to share. I just want to make sure that you have a place to share your concerns.

  2. Very well written. You have been through a lot. You are very addiment about your beliefs, and you are to be commended for that. You have much to give. Push with all you have to be all that you can be to yourself, your family, your neighbors, your friends….remember, we only get one chance to accomplish what-ever we can in this life. Let your life mean life to others. Remember, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. “God is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”; “he will never, ever leave us nor for-sake us”. He doesn’t always keep us from the fire, but HE DOES ALWAYS go through the fires of life with us.
    Love Ya Bunches!
    Aunt Cheryl

  3. I have just read a truly moving blog and an extremely emotional and welcome first comment. Both bogger and responder obviously have so much to give the world and I really want to be able to keep in touch with both. God bless to you both.

  4. Grief…we all have some form of grief in our lives. Sometimes we hide our grief from the world & those around us, sometimes we share our grief with others especially when it feels like the Lord is leading to share. There are times that I know that I have created my own grief and still other times when grief in my life has been created by someone other than myself. It has not always been easy to get above, beyond, and through the grief but I know the God who has been able to carry me through no matter what has happened in my life. When I have felt that I was all alone & no one really seemed to care I know that God was there carrying me through to the other side. When I would feel like I could not carry on one more step Christ was there either in spirit or in the form of a person or something I was able to read or see that made me realize that I was not alone that God was right there with me and it was HIS FOOTPRINTS in the sand & not mine. I still have my life struggles & things that like Mary I ponder in my heart & leave them with the Lord. I am thankful & very blest by the angels unaware that come along at the right times in my life & gave me the lift that I needed & the strength & courage to pick up the pieces, hold on a little tighter, & take that next step of faith that I have needed to get me through. I know that there are more times in my life than I can count that God has lifted me up when all i wanted to do was hide in the corner somewhere & remain the nobody that I was raised to believe that I was. But, PRAISE GOD HE TAUGHT me that I AM SOMEBODY SPECIAL BCS GOD DIDN’T TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE A NOBODY! I AM better than what I use to think I was, I AM somebody speical bcs first of all MY GOD loves me & HE has allowed me to FORGIVE & LOVE OTHERS when & where on my own it would be next to impossible to ever do so on my own. To many countless years I spent my life in grief & misery, but my God has brought me through & when I know that He is leading me I share my story. If I have NOT walked in your steps, walked down your path in life I do not need to know all your details because my God does & I can pray for you just for the asking. I am not here on this earth to pass judgement on anyone bcs I do not need that for myself–no thank you! Christ has loved us with unconditional love, blessed us with forgiveness when we deserve it the least, & loved us the most when we don’t deserve it. THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER & I’VE SEEN IT WITH MY OWN EYES!!! IT’S AWESOME!!! I am living proof that PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!!!!! Bcs prayer just does not change things, it can & will change people & circumstances. I love to pray for others & help support & encourage others during their times of need; bcs I KNOW what it feels like to walk down a path way that is not traveled all that often, I know how it feels to feel that I’m all alone & no one really cares about me or what I’m going through or what my family may be going through. I CAN & WILL PRAY JUST ASK…the bible says we have not bcs we ask not….go ahead ask….what do you have to loose??? LET GO OF THAT GRIEF, DON’T BE SCARED OR AFRAID THAT YOU CAN’T MAKE IT, THAT YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT NEXT STEP, THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO GET OUT OF THIS RUT THAT YOU ARE IN RIGHT NOW. DON’T GIVE UP ASK & GOD WILL PROVIDE EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE IN NEED OF, HE WILL PUT THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE & TURN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AROUND FOR HIS PRAISE, HONOR, & GLORY!! You are NOT too far gone for God to reach you, for HE is right where you left HIM–HE is waiting with out stretched arms waiting to hold you & tell you how much HE loves you!! GO AHEAD, I DARE YOU TO TAKE THAT FIRST STEP OF FAITH…..TRY IT YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!! FOR THERE IS NOTHING TO BIG OR SMALL FOR GOD TO HANDLE!!!! ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THOSE WILL BELIEVE & ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE!! LIFE IS FRAGILE….HANDLE WITH PRAYER!!!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.