Anger / Resentment – Stage 7

People don’t like to talk about anger and resentment in the same sentence with bereavement. We have this misguided notion that we are supposed to be serene and accepting. It might surprise us how strongly we can feel this emotion. But grieving is a messy process, not a tidy package.

When someone we love is wrenched away from us through death, it is only natural for us to go through this stage. It is a very human response that we shouldn’t be afraid of. Our rage or resentment can be directed any number of directions.

We can have feelings of anger towards:

  • Ourselves – having self-blame that we could have done something different
  • The person who died – for leaving us alone
  • Doctors – for not making the right decisions regarding your loved ones care
  • Nurses – for not doing enough
  • Caregivers – that they maybe could have done more
  • Family members – for not helping enough with caregiving
  • The person who caused the accident – how could they be so careless
  • Even at God- why didn’t He prevent the death from happening in the first place

We can take our outrage to God, He is big enough to shoulder it. We can pour out our feelings to Him. King David cries out to God many times in the Psalms.

Much of society views emotional pain in a negative way. After just a short amount of time a person who is grieving feels the pressure to just “toughen up” and “get over it”. If we do not resist the urge to bury our emotions, we can expect it to show up sooner or later as physical symptoms.

There are things that we can do to help ourselves through this stage. Take time to talk about how you are feeling with a person who can listen without judging you.

Journaling is another good way to express your pain. Writing down how mad you are can help you release some of the emotion building up inside. In time it can and will start to fade.

Physical exercise can be very a helpful and healthy way to burn off some of your emotional energy. It can be as simple as going for a walk or as intense as training for a race.

anger bereavement stage lean on me

Over time we will wrestle with and process through this stage. It may feel like it will never end, but it does.

Don’t try to walk through the grief process alone. Lean on friends, family, clergy, or counselors for help.

Anger should be admitted, expressed and let go of.

Go to Stage 8 - Resist Returning

Return from Anger to Stages of Bereavement

Return to Bereavement Home Page

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Scripture Verse

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  I was dead and behold I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and Hades.  Because I live, you also will live.

Rev. 21:6; 22:13; 1:17-18; John 14:19

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