The Journey of Grief – Anger

Definition… 

Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

anger 2

My Thoughts…

When I found out that my mom had stage 3b lung cancer, I was in the middle of my senior year of undergrad and she passed three weeks before I began my senior semester. Typing this brings back a ton of thoughts and emotions, but the one emotion that I feel the most is anger. Mostly anger towards myself… Why didn’t I go home? Why didn’t I spend more time with her? Then it shifts towards my family… Why didn’t they visit her more? Why didn’t they help out more? Then it goes to my mom… Did she know she was sick longer before she said anything? Why didn’t she tell us sooner? Why did she have to smoke cigarettes for over 30 years? Then it moves to God… Why would you take her from me? What made you believe that I didn’t need her anymore? What am I supposed to do now? Then it shifts towards my Pastor… Why do you keep telling me what God has for me? Doesn’t He know there’s only one thing that I want? Why won’t He just give it to me? Why do you keep bringing me these messages about growth and greatness? Don’t you know that I child can’t grow without the nutrients of their mother? What’s the point of being great if she can’t see me being great? But, then realization sets in. I try to believe that I did the right thing by staying in school. I love my family so I don’t want to hurt their feelings, plus, who am I to say anything, I wasn’t there myself. I think to myself, who am I to be mad at God? Then I realize that my pastor was just the messenger. So now where do I direct my anger? Well, like many others, I direct it at everyone and everything else where I feel safe. See anger is the sneaky one of the bunch, because it’s easy to pass anger off as one of our regular daily emotions. We get angry almost everyday, because of one thing or another. So how do you know the difference? Well,  anger that stems from grief is when you find yourself being angry at things that are not worth being angry about. I’m talking about the true definition of anger. You find yourself hostile and annoyed at the red light, the cap on your drink won’t twist on the right way, the phone rings, the water squirted out of the sink the wrong way. Any and EVERYTHING makes you upset, just about to the point of you wanting to scream. The good things is that, just like the other stages, anger can come and go as well. But, anger may be around for a while before you even notice that it’s their and that’s the scary part. Because we all know the saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” Who knows how many people you have hurt in the stage of anger.  This is why it is important not to dismiss your grief and to acknowledge the stages and all of your emotions. Then you will be more aware and you deal with each stage and emotion accordingly. But, when you won’t even acknowledge that their is a problem, then you my dear, have a big problem. Because, the fact of the matter is, is that grief is going to take it’s course whether  you acknowledge it or not. And it’s like the waves in the ocean, you can either ride them as they come or get swallowed up as they crash.

Last words…

Don’t allow anger to consume you, it’s not worth the damage that it causes. We all get angry and in order not to let it consume us, we have to release it. Talk to someone about your grief on a regular basis, journal your thoughts, find a safe place to scream, find healthy coping skills. Whatever you do, don’t deny its presence and don’t hold it in.

– Erika McFarland

The Journey of Grief – Acceptance

Definition

Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest. The concept is close in meaning to ‘acquiescence’, derived from the Latin ‘acquiēscere’ (to find rest in). [Wikipedia]calm-peace-innerpeace1

My Thoughts…

Since the passing of my mother, acceptance has been the hardest stage of grief for me to go through. As I mentioned before, all five stages of grief are continuous. With that being said, I have been through the acceptance stage more than once. I love the Latin interpretation of the word, to find rest in, because that is what acceptance means to me, to be at peace about my mother’s passing. I often find myself at peace on holidays, birthdays and the anniversary of her passing. It’s usually by force and not so much by choice. The special occasion forces me to accept that she is no longer here and I only have two choices, I can either go nuts and be super sad or I can choose to be at peace with it. Usually I find myself going nuts the days leading up to the special occasion and then on the day of I am sad until I choose to be at peace. That’s my personal belief about acceptance, it’s a choice. A choice that is ok to renege on sometimes, but it’s important to choose peace every now and again if you desire to live a stable life. I mean, I can’t believe that my mom is kicking it with Tupac on a remote island forever. Lol

Challenge…

Today I challenge you to choose to accept the passing of your loved one or loss of a relationship. Today I challenge you to choose to rest and experience peace. And when you do, choose peace, stay there a while and enjoy that place while you can. There will be  plenty of sad days to choose from again.

Erika McFarland