5 Common Ways Anger Shows Up in Grief
Posted: July 8, 2016
You can count on this statement playing out in your grieving journey. The anger and irritability you feel after the numb starts to wear off is sometimes pretty shocking. It just can catch you off guard. Death and near death experiences are so painful. The death of a loved one causes memories (both good and bad) to just come back to life. At the same time you may have to make decisions regarding funeral arrangements or a memorial service, your heart is breaking and on complete overload. This is when people sometimes "lose their minds." I have seen families who are loving and generous become greedy and angry over the stuff their loved one left behind. I have seen people suddenly blame each other for the death of their loved one when logic would state no one is to blame. I have experienced and seen family members say things to each other they would never have said prior to the death. Sometimes these statements leave divisions in the family seemingly not repairable.
"When tragedy happens, people go into their hearts.When people go into their hearts - They go out of their minds."
Common Ways Anger Shows UpPerhaps you're not thinking anger is going to be a part of this journey. I encourage you to stay tuned and practice self-compassion as you may hit the road bumps of anger. Here are a few common ways anger shows up:
A Constant Irritability or Lack of PatienceJust constantly irritated at everything. -The person asking you how you're doing. -People constantly calling. -People not calling. -Decisions needing to be made.
Easily AngeredSometimes it is just better to have someone else drive you around on these "angrier than usual days." These are the days when someone cuts you off on the road and your zero to sixty in two seconds takes over.
IsolatingThe reality is some people need to be by themselves for a period of time to gain peace. But some people who are grieving are isolating because they are angry at the world. They just hate everything right now.
Blaming OthersRegardless of how your loved one died, there sometimes is an irrational need to blame someone for the death or tragedy. The wrestling with the terrible experience of loss of control often causes loved ones to blame each other for the loss.
DepressionIt is often said depression is anger turned inwards. When you find yourself consistently unable to get out of bed or sad more days than not two months after the death of your loved one, it is time to seek help. It is very easy to become immobilized by the sadness of loss of control after a loved one dies.
How to Calm The GriefThe best way to walk through the anger is to get the support of people who understand anger is just a part of the grief. Allow them to listen to you and comfort you. Anyone who has been through anger will tell you the anger (if processed) won't last forever. Anger will become less as the sadness is allowed to be felt. -That's why it's important to have the support of a good friend/counselor/pastor around you. "We comfort with the comfort we have been comforted with." -The apostle Paul said this to the Corinthian people. Those who have walked the road of grief will "get it." They won't shame you for the irrational anger you might feel. It will pass. And Remember - The Main rule for grieving is - You Make The Rules
I am your reluctant tour guide through this journey of The Soul of Grief. I am Kate Pieper, LMFT. The above isn't professional counseling - It is practical advise and education to help you not get stuck while your walking through the valley of the shadow of death.