Oh Yeah, Anger is a Stage of Grief

Or how I swear out an old man in a scooter, and call him a douche. And how he totally deserved it.

I was biking on a street that was wet from rain. It’s harder to brake when the road is wet and slick. In those conditions it is harder to stop my bike and it takes longer and as a consequence it takes more space for me to stop my bike.

Since moving three months ago, I had learned quickly how necessary it is to watch bikers and pedestrians carefully, because they will step out right in front of you. I watch constantly and carefully, because I have to, because people are idiots and they have death wishes, or act like it, constantly.

I had the green light. Now let me just say that my having the green light means absolutely nothing to other bikers, pedestrians, and sometimes even drivers in vehicles. So I am careful, because it is necessary. Unfortunately that still is no guarantee that someone still won’t almost cause an accident, or almost run into me, or break the law and put me in a very dangerous unsafe situation.

An old man in a scooter was on the sidewalk as I rode up to the intersection. He had the red light. I had the green light. I was watching him carefully. He braked completely, while looking up at the red light that he had. I saw that he realized he had a red light. I saw that he had braked. I did not brake. I had the green light.

Then he zipped out right in front of me going about twenty miles an hour. Fucking scooters. I started screaming and swearing at him. And then he started mouthing off back to me. Here is the thing. You don’t get to act like that and then mouth off when someone bitches you out, when you richly deserve it. So I called him a douche.

And he totally deserved it. He could have caused me an accident. He could have flipped my bike and my bike and I could have both landed on his body or tipped over the scooter. If he thinks that could not cause him serious bodily harm or a back injury or a severed spine, he a bigger fucking idiot than I think he is already. He should never be allowed to get behind a vehicle of any kind, certainly not one that goes faster than one mile an hour.

And yet I realize all this past week how anger is a stage of grief, because I am so angry for others existing while experiencing the loss of my lovely nephew, who was a joy in my life and in my heart. So I get angry more often and I swear more often and I am okay with that.

12 thoughts on “Oh Yeah, Anger is a Stage of Grief

  1. A lot of us women (especially) have never been allowed to have their own anger. I had to stuff mine in childhood. People asked me why I didn’t get angry. But I was often furious and frustrated, afraid of it and afraid to let it out, lest it come out appropriately.
    Also, “anger turned inward is depression” so that was my default. Now I let it out but try not go go off my nut and vent. I feel it and express it in healthy ways for me and other people. It’s a process. I had teenage anger when I was in my 40s. I think there’s a lot of that.

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    • Hi Gretchen,

      I understand what you are saying. However, for me, rage was a common way that I expressed myself within my dysfunctional and abusive family of origin, so it is very normal for me to feel anger and rage, then and now, even though my family shamed and humiliated me for feeling and expressing them.

      I can say that it is possible to be depressed and expressing and feeling a great deal of rage.

      I am sorry that you were stuck in depression as a consequence of what you were dealing with.

      I totally understand the worry that anger and rage can overwhelm. All those emotions repressed over time gain a lot of power and strength. I have heard many survivors express this concern, me too. And many who struggle with learning how to deal with anger and managing, expressing, and embracing the emotion as a normal part of life. Good for you for going through this tremendously empowering and healing process.

      This post was meant to be about anger as a stage of grief, and even though anger and rage are very much a part of being abused as a child and being an adult survivor, mostly I was referring to feeling and expressing anger as a stage of grief and healing through the death of a loved one, in reference specifically to my nephew.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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    • Hi Gretchen,

      I understand what you are saying. However, for me, rage was a common way that I expressed myself within my dysfunctional and abusive family of origin, so it is very normal for me to feel anger and rage, then and now, even though my family shamed and humiliated me for feeling and expressing them.

      I can say that it is possible to be depressed and expressing and feeling a great deal of rage.

      I am sorry that you were stuck in depression as a consequence of what you were dealing with.

      I totally understand the worry that anger and rage can overwhelm. All those emotions repressed over time gain a lot of power and strength. I have heard many survivors express this concern, me too. And many who struggle with learning how to deal with anger and managing, expressing, and embracing the emotion as a normal part of life. Good for you for going through this tremendously empowering and healing process.

      This post was meant to be about anger as a stage of grief, and even though anger and rage are very much a part of being abused as a child and being an adult survivor, mostly I was referring to feeling and expressing anger as a stage of grief and healing through the death of a loved one, in reference specifically to my nephew.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  2. Hi Kate,
    I’m sorry for your loss, which I just now foudn out about. I understand your anger and especially if you’ve been used to expressing it a lot in your abusive family of origin, rage comes almsot naturally. It is the same with me. I am currently grieving for different reasons not related to death, and I act it out as anger a lot too.

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    • Hi,

      I try really hard not to be upset or angry, most of the time, and that is something that feels right for me, after rage and anger being such a negative and overwhelming part of my interactions with family. Being angry during this time of loss feels okay, but it is also something that I need to manage and be as responsible with as possible, at the same time understanding that it is a part of my healing process.

      I’m sorry that you are experiencing anger through grieving right now. I believe it is better to feel and experience it, rather than to push it down and repress it. I believe that as you experience it, the other emotions will emerge. Thinking of you dear.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  3. Mourning itself is often very overwhelming. Feel it and express it for as long as you need to. And ask for comfort from others when you can. It can be a blessing for them to give to you. Sending you hugs and lots of love.

    Granny

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    • Hello Granny,

      I will try to remember that.

      I cried some last night and miss him so much. But I got to see his brother yesterday and that helps. He is a wonderful sweet young man as well and it is good for my heart and mind to be able to spend some time with him. We had a good time together. It is nice to hear him speak of his brother. I do sometimes say something about him as well. I think we find comfort in one another in that, but we don’t talk a lot about him yet. I think we both need time for that. And I want him to know over and over how much I want to be with him and spend time with him, not just to talk and mourn about his brother. I am so thankful that I have some time with him now and it means a great deal to me/us.

      Thank you so much Granny, for the love and hugs. It means so much.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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