Although not commonly spoken about, the stage of anger in the grieving process is so significant. Whether a distant friend or a very close loved one, this feeling is something shared by many. Grief counseling can help you better deal with anger in grief.
When someone loses a loved one, there are a lot of what-ifs that come with it. Although initially, you may be thinking, “How could I feel angry?”, that doesn’t mean that if you begin to feel this way you should suppress those anger emotions or feel ashamed of yourself. These angry feelings are completely normal, and although unimaginable in the given moment, as time goes on and things come up, it is entirely possible you will feel angry too. Whether you are angry at your loved one for passing away and leaving you, or envious of people simply living their lives.
Here are some common things you may feel angry at during grieving
- Failed medical systems
- The person who passed away
- Life Itself
- Emotions that others have to experience
- They are forced to live a life without that loved one
- Family members
Find a safe way to let your anger out, don’t suppress it, embrace it. Embrace that you are feeling rather than feeling completely numb. Being angry is okay, sometimes pain takes other forms and the pain of our loss is often redirected and expressed as anger- it’s a natural human instinct. Grief counseling can play an important part in helping you better manage your grief.
Oftentimes, it may feel overwhelming to feel anger. Not many embrace anger, it’s often a feared and rejected emotion in society. Rather than allowing it to be expressed, we tend to avoid it.
Underneath that anger is deep pain. In order to heal, let your anger out safely. Just like people, your anger needs to express itself as well as time to breathe. Though anger can act as a shield to protect us from our deep pain, it is healthy to release some of it rather than letting it build up. It weighs on your mind just as much as it weighs on your body, and the physical effects can be in your heart and other organs that you may not even realize.
Although there are some common ways to cope with anger, it varies from person to person. Here are some safe healthy ways that you can release some of your built-up anger
- Reciting a comforting Mantra
- Mindfully move your body
- Grief Counseling
- Support groups
Grief is a process that we all experience in different ways, but also a shared commonality in our human experience. Gentle movement, breath, and mantra can play a big role in healing as one continues down the path of finding peace.
Rather than believing that the world is against you and how terrible the world is without that person, try to think about how you were blessed to have something in life that makes saying goodbye so difficult. A deep loss leaves behind a deep wound. Only with time and care will that wound heal. However, inevitably that deep wound leaves behind a scar that serves as a reflection of how boundless our love was and will always be.
At Body Positive Works, we walk beside you as you step along each stepping stone of the grief process. All of our therapists are trained in holding the complexity of grief and loss, and some are certified Grief Educators through David Kessler’s certification training. David Kessler, the world-renowned expert on grief and loss, has added a sixth stage to the original five devised by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross many decades ago. This sixth stage of grief – finding meaning – is what helps us to remember with “more love than pain” (Kessler).