I’ve had a rendezvous or two with grief and anger, and I have a few words to share about the experience. Maybe something said here can reconnect you with a healing truth.
To me, grief has proven itself to be another name for love, albeit a confused and very human one.
Some days, the memories still knock the wind out of me. One glimpse into the past can bring back all the old feelings of being crushed. Other days, I can write and talk about what’s happened to me as if it happened for me.
There’s always a part of me that understands, deeply, no matter what happens, that “all is well with my soul.”
Since I am still human, I know what grief and anger feel like when they get together.
Grief is just love trying to find itself. Anger is just the ego trying to protect itself. There’s nothing wrong with either one of them, not if we recognize that deeper part of us—the part that understands that “all is well with my soul”—as the truest part of us.
If you’re struggling with the heavy weight of grief, I hope these words find you where you are.
This is a poetic glimpse into grief and anger, as I know them.
Grief and Anger, as I Know Them
We can keep so much of the pain inside, grasping it and gasping for freedom from it at the same time. We can hold it and hold it, clutch it and hope that it just goes away already… but it lingers.
How do we let it go? How can we be free when we’re so angry? When we have a right to be so angry?
The stages of grief may be spelled out on paper, but they’re not written down in cement. We each endure a different experience, sometimes traveling across the entire spectrum of grief all in a day. I think I’ve touched every stage of grief in one day.
I’d say grief and anger are friends (or frenemies?) but the truth is that they’re not. They’re not beings or beasts that we can truly name and place perfectly. I understand them as two alternate expressions of loving and feeling so deeply in a world that’s so ready to offer us alternatives to love.
There’s nothing wrong with grief, and there’s nothing wrong with anger. They’re part of the human experience. I think they might be guides to getting back to love. The honest human truth is that we need them. We need them to grow and to understand wholly how to grow.Healing is the art of acknowledging what's hurt you, and responding with new life. Click To Tweet
Angry energies are rocks that we can’t just blast through; we need to hold them, drop them, pick them up, inspect them, and put them back down and just let them be rocks. When we’re still not ready to let go of our anger, we can let it be, which is far different.
Let the anger be what it is, let it ebb and flow and show you why it’s really here. Try to understand it by not needing to know everything about your grief, and why things had to happen the way they did. Let the mystery of life remain a mystery, because it’s going to anyways.
Inspect it, but remember that it’s just a rock. It’s not here to destroy you, but to show you that even a plain-looking stone might hide a crystal inside of it.
The anger is the fear component of your grief, crystallized. It is frustration bottled up, disbelief enraged, hopes rearranged, the ego in tears, ideas of how life should have been—shattered.
Grief and anger often seem inseparable, but they’re not the same thing. One is love searching for the love it thinks it lost; the other is the human part of us building up walls so it doesn’t lose anything else.
What if love can’t be lost? What if life can’t be lost, because life is what we are? What if we chose to come here, to this world, to experience what love and life felt like from another perspective?
Grief and anger don’t even come close to the joy of being. Nothing can erase love where it’s been; the mark has already been left, drawn in the cement. Grief, then, becomes part of the love, an extension of it, maybe just a little confused with why it’s here.
Anger is a messenger saying we’re holding on to something not meant for us.
I know what it’s like to be angry because I know what grief feels like. My outrage at what happened, with the people and unnecessary events that played out, wasn’t my grief lashing out—it was my humanness mourning a loss.
I’m not sure that grief lashes out; perhaps grief only wants the love to not be lost.
Grief stays whether we want it to or not. Anger stays as long as we keep it. There is no set timeline to rid oneself of anger. All that I do know is what my anger has shown me: I thought I would break right open if I didn’t keep it around.“Angry is just sad’s bodyguard.” – Liz Palmer Click To Tweet
A point came, though it was a long time following the initial wound, that I realized my anger was keeping me imprisoned in my own sanctuary of sadness. I was holding on to anger because it made me feel like I wouldn’t fall apart, but it was poisoning me from the inside out.
My anger was keeping someone else in charge of the way I experienced life. When I discovered this shocking news, I let anger be. I was still angry for a while, but the acceptance of its presence, and its purpose for being with me, was the beginning of me not needing it anymore.
Gradually, I began to sit with the sadness—naked, pure, raw, unprotected. No armor. Gosh, that’s hard, but it’s a softening. It’s a core awakening. It’s the only way to get to the truth: love is underneath it all.Love is the undercurrent in every painful moment of grief. Click To Tweet
It’s all energy, anyways, and energy doesn’t really disappear; it just changes form. Sadness can change into anger, anger can change into acceptance, and acceptance gives the experience permission to morph into something else.
We can be angry without leaning on the anger, without using it as a crutch to keep our incompetent soul in place. All is well with the soul, always. We don’t need to put protective armor around the part of us that can’t be hurt, destroyed, obliterated, shaken, crushed, or touched at all.
Our humanness is what hurts, and that’s okay. It’s because we’re human that we grieve at all. It’s because we’re human that we know what anger is and feels like, yet still keep it anyway.
There’s no shame in being angry, only another lesson that the soul wants to feel from a human perspective.
Your energy can change. Trust that it will.
You can always, always reach out to me if you need a pen pal.
Please share your thoughts, insights from your experience with grief and anger, what’s supported you in your healing journey, and any words of comfort with me in the comments.
Share these words with someone who might appreciate another perspective.
You have to force nothing upon your healing.