I'm sure we've all been told that 'anger' is one of the phases of grief (coincidently, Stephanie wrote about these on Thursday). I say 'phases' instead of 'stages' because, in my experience, it’s not a linear process where you graduate from one emotion to the next. Instead, it’s been a messy, complicated jumble that throws us back and forward, turning us inside and out.
Thankfully, I haven't felt a lot of anger, maybe four or five bursts in the past 10 months. But when it hits, boy oh boy, it's like a tornado has blown in hard and fast. I’m having one of the anger storms tonight, so thought I’d vent here.
I've never been able to direct the anger at Dan. I wish I could because I imagine it might feel satisfying to blame him for this mess I'm in. But in my heart I know it's not his fault. He didn't take his life to hurt me, he wasn't in the frame of mind to understand he was ending my life too - my life the way I knew it anyway. His final note tells me that he thought he was saving me. I want to be angry that he got it so wrong but I honestly believe he died from a disease that he just couldn't control.
If anything, when I try to direct the anger at him I end up feeling even more heart-broken because rather than point an accusing finger, I want to protect him. I want to bundle him up in my arms, kiss his sweet, gentle face and sooth him. I want to tell him it's going to be ok, he doesn't need to be scared, we'll work it out together.
So no, I can't be angry with him. But I'm still furious and looking for somewhere to direct it.
I want to pour blame on Dan's doctor, who I can't help but feel let us down. Or the people he crossed paths with the morning he died He was distraught, with tears pouring down his face, yet no one stopped him. I want to shake them and say 'why didn’t you ask if he was ok? Why did you fail us!' But I know it's not their fault either. If I didn't see it, and I was the closest person too him, how can I blame others? I know they suffered from this too.
I want to hurl my anger at those close to me - my family and friends. Those who have done everything possible to help me but needed to make their own lives a priority for a rare moment, triggering my abandonment issues and making me want to shove everyone away. But I know they love me and are hurting to see me like this. I know it’s not fair to lash out at them.
I want to pound my fists against the idiot at work, or the asshole who gave me attitude at the grocery store. I want to roar like a savage beast at everyone who still has their spouse to come home to at night, to console them after a tough day, cook them a meal or help with the shitty chores that no one wants to do on their own. But I know that wouldn’t be fair either.
I want to run, to burn the fury through physical exertion, but I don't seem to have the energy to pull my shoes on. I want to throw crockery plates at a brick wall. Hear them crash and watch them shatter. But I like my plates and the mess would bother me.
I want to destroy everything good around me, so my surroundings resemble my insides - barren and lonely and dark.
But I just don't have the heart. So I lie here defeated and cry. That primal howling cry that comes from deep within while my body writhes with pain. I scream in to my pillow, 'why!?' and 'please come back!' and 'no, this isn't fair - it's too much! I can't do it' until I fall asleep from exhaustion.
Then, in the morning, head pounding and puffy-eyed I'll get up, take a deep breath and go and do it all again. One day at a time, one step at a time. Until the anger rolls in again.