The Five Stages of Grief cont. (Anger)
As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. --- Julie Axlrod
Obviously, some stages of grief overlap, as witnessed by my brusque responses while in the stage of denial. I often unknowingly directed my anger at innocent friends, family and strangers. I didn’t recognize my feelings of irritability as actual anger. However, in retrospect I can honestly say—I was angry.
Once, while slowly crossing a busy street, a couple of sweet young girls turned to stare at me. I’m embarrassed to say, I responded by making a nasty face. That was one of many irrational reactions I displayed while in this stage of grief. As my body continued to rebel against me, the feeling of irritation frequently welled up like an untethered tiger. Eventually, I turned my anger on our Creator. “Why are you allowing this to happen to me?”
At that time of my life, I wasn’t attending church and didn’t have any religious affiliations. Although I had faith in my Savior and plenty of spiritual advice from my parents, as far as my religious nourishment was concerned, I felt like a ship without a rudder. That’s when I discovered the book When God Doesn’t Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson, which offered many insights into the mysteries and love of our Father.
Ultimately, I came to realize that God has very big shoulders. We can pound on His chest when we're angry, cry on His shoulder or weep at His feet. He will always be there for His children. After all, He gave His Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice for our sins. No one knows better than our Savior how difficult this mortal life can be.
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. —Luke 22 KJV
I’m grateful for a Savior that loves us so much He was willing to take on our pains and sins. I look to Him whenever my burdens are too heavy to bear. And was comforted many times as I faced the challenges associated with my new way of life while living with TM.