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Can I feel anger?

We were raised thinking that we should not lower our guard for this feeling. But at this time of the grieving process each response is unique and, therefore, important. Anger is a natural reaction to the pain, it means awakening from being numb.

Priscilla Westra / Unsplash

Grieving can be explained as an amputation. At first it’s impossible to believe that one leg was gone. You see the empty bed and take glances while you get bandages changed, but it still seems an unreal nightmare that will soon end. You feel the phantom pains, so common after amputations, that make you believe that the leg is still there but it isn’t – and it will not be ever again. When you start trying to walk again, the comfort of denial is over and you have already realized that the leg is gone. That’s when the frustration, the pain, disappointment, anger and feelings that are so deep to be described, crush you.

The feelings are unique. The way you react is also unique. At some point your grieving will generate anger, and many people have trouble understanding this word and this feeling: we think of anger as a huge bad mood and loss of control. Many of us were raised thinking that we should not be angry and understand that feeling as a synonym for hate. Anger is a natural reaction to pain. Whenever we get hurt there is a reaction that can be identified as anger. We can call it another name – frustration, hurt, disappointment – but it all come basically from the same emotion, which is anger. At some point these feelings will have to emerge. You may feel more irritated and angry. You can see yourself overreacting to things that you might not have noticed a few months ago. This is anger, and it’s another layer of youth grieving, the layer of reaction.

Anger is healthy. You may scare your family and friends but is the driving force within you that will help you to follow your journey. We basically we hit rock bottom, get very angry and start fighting. Anger means that your feelings are awakening from numbness and denial that were taking care of your grieving. The only problem with anger is that it does not float. Anger needs to be directed towards something or someone. There are some objects that seem to be “sacred” but they can be very suitable as targets for our feelings. Get to know more:

Anger and the deceased one

Very often anger will be channeled irrationally. It is common to be angry at the one who passed away. “How could you leave me like that?” “Why didn’t you take care of your health?”. This seems irrational and the person in the case may even have doubts about his/her own sanity. People we lose can be a healthy focus for anger; it is irrational but not sick. And yes, your family or friends cannot understand.

Anger and God

God is not a bad focus for your anger. Perhaps God is big enough to put up with his anger and understand it. You will never have a healthy relationship with anyone until you have the right to feel angry with him/her. The biggest fear is to be angry at God forever. Those who did not overcome it, probably felt attacked, criticized or judged while they were angry and they raised their defenses. You can only overcome the anger of God if there is no trial or if the trial is ignored. It is allowed to be angry at God.

Anger and friends

Friends will talk about the wrong things, those you didn’t want to hear, and you will get angry. A grandmother who lost a grandson in a car accident heard a friend commenting that she was lucky to be ‘just the grandmother, “a mother who lost her teenage daughter heard from a friend that” perhaps the daughter was not to become a good adult and then God took her before she had this disappointment. ” Many, many people nearby will say, “Know how you feel.” They just think they have to make you feel better, and try anyway to “take” your pain away.

Anger and you

The anger that has internal focus is dangerous. When the focus is yourself there will be no logic or theory that can prove that the death was not your fault. Guilt in the grieving process is internalized anger. That’s the only anger that needs to be rechanneled. And the first step is to assume that you are angry, without denial. Identify and recognize your own anger is the way to channel it. This channeling begins when you can say to yourself “Yes, I’m angry and I get angry.”

Facing your anger

Physical response helps: hitting a hammer, punching a pillow, kicking a mattress. Releasing physical energy helps. Crying when you feel like it, with no shame, without limits. Screaming out loud. Putting it all out, telling everyone you are angry, very mad, uncensored. Keeping anger inside you can be risky, much more than people thinking you’re crazy.

* Inspirational book for this text “The Mourning dimensions” Doug Manning.