We’ve all lived through the cliché and have “seen red” or been angry at some point in our lives. After our children died I am certain you felt some degree of anger. And honestly, there is no one in the world who has a better reason to be angry than you. I remember after Garrett died, being so angry with parents in the grocery store who would yell at their kids, thinking that they were not appreciating them, but honestly who am I kidding—as if I have never been frustrated with my kids in the grocery store.
I remember being so angry at my friends I wanted to scream at them, how dare you go back to your regular life like nothing is changed. In reality, nothing really did change for them.
There was something inside me that made me realize no matter how angry I was there was no amount of anger that would bring Garrett back.
Anger can be such a dangerous emotion to embrace.
The more time we spend angry, the less time we spend facing our pain and healing. I know a woman who spent three years in a state of utter rage at the man who missed the stop sign and killed her daughter. She spent every ounce of her energy hating this man and wishing for justice. I could never bring myself to ask her the question on my mind, what amount of justice would satisfy you? Would his death be enough? I knew that bringing her daughter back was the only thing that could have helped. She finally came to this realization on her own but had wasted three years, she was physically and mentally exhausted, and had to begin her healing process.
I’m not saying don’t have a reason to be angry—you do!
But, you also have a responsibility to yourself to recognize that anger is an emotion that you can control.
Find an outlet for it—scream in your car, write a nasty letter and burn it, throw some things, join a gym. As long as the outlet that you choose is not hurting you or anyone else and is helping you heal, go for it.
I want to end today with a Buddha quote:
Holding on to anger is like grasping at a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. YOU are the one who gets burned.
Some of what I’m saying may actually be making you angry. That’s okay! Give yourself permission to be angry—Just don’t stay there.
Find that outlet and work through your anger so you can begin to heal and celebrate the memories of your child in a positive way.