I am angry. I am angry at God, the world, the universe and my husband.
Sounds crazy, right? I agree. Oh, not about being angry at God, the world and the universe. In my opinion, those are justifiable targets.
No, what is crazy is being angry at my husband for dying. I am absolutely positive that if there was any way that he could have prevented that, he would have.
So why am I angry at him?
Aristotle once said, “Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”
Grief counselors all agree that anger is part of the grieving process, and they all have various reasons why people who are grieving become so angry. They also all say that anger is a necessary part and that being angry at the departed is normal. I hate it when counselors all agree. It leaves no wiggle room to escape.
A few different reasons cited for the anger are the following:
· Angry at being abandoned by your loved one.
· Angry that others have their loved ones and you don’t.
· Angry at yourself for not seeing what would happen and stopping it.
· Angry at life for letting horrible people live while good people die.
So what good does knowing this do?
Nothing. Well, it does help to know that I’m not going crazy, but to be honest that really never concerned me. Other than that, I have no clue how this knowledge can help me.
But let’s take it point by point and see if we can make sense of this.
Angry at being abandoned by a loved one.
Why am I angry at my husband? He didn’t abandon me. Well, technically he did, but he didn’t want to or do it on purpose. So why be angry at him? Actually the answer is pretty simple. Who else could I be angry at? Oh, I am angry at the doctors and the hospital where he died. But the ultimate betrayal was done by my husband.
He was supposed to move Heaven and earth to stay with me. He was supposed to bargain with God to let him come back. He was supposed to convince St. Peter that he died too young and find another body to inhabit while journeying home and presenting himself on my doorstep as a reincarnation of himself.
After all, that happens all the time in the movies. Why not in real life?
And that right there is the key word – “real” life.
Hollywood is all fiction. It is all glitter and dazzle and magic and fake. Even the actors themselves are fake, living glamorous fairy tale lives, always looking perfect and wise with opinions on everything.
But the smoke and mirrors are done so well, that even a fairly intelligent person can fall into the trap of believing. Why? Because we want to believe. Logically my brain knows that my husband won’t return, won’t show up in a different body, he won’t find a medium to speak through to me. But my heart wants it so badly it hurts.
And that’s why I am angry at him. Because he didn’t make my fairy tale ending come true.
Completely unreasonable thinking, but there you have it. Eventually I will come to realize the truth but right now I want Disney to step in and make it all better.
Angry that others have their loved ones and you don’t.
When I see someone with their husband, a little voice in my head cries out, “Not fair! Why did I lose my husband and they didn’t? What makes them so special? What did I do wrong to deserve this?”
The answer is nothing.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I do not want and never want any of my friends or family to go through this. I don’t even want strangers to go through this. Even though that little finger of jealousy comes creeping up my spine that they still have their loved ones, not even in the darkest regions of my soul do I want them to lose their loved ones. And believe me, my dark regions can get pretty dark.
But still that little voice pouts and whimpers about it.
So how to quiet it? Well, let’s think about this. The “not fair” part? Easy. Life is not fair. In fact the whole human race would be a much better species if the term “fairness” was never invented. There is no scale that balances the rights and wrongs of this world. There is nothing dictating who gets what and when and where. It just happens. And it happens to everyone. Fairness only exists in pre-school with adult supervision insuring that everyone gets their share. After moving up into the higher grades, fairness goes out the window, because in life and Mother Nature straight lines and fairness do not exist.
How about the question of why they get to keep their loved one and I didn’t? Why are they special? Well they aren’t. They aren’t charmed by some power that keeps their loved ones safe. They didn’t do anything special that keeps death away from their family. The sad fact is, it could happen to them just as quickly as it happened to me. I pray fervently that it doesn’t but the truth is that everyone is vulnerable. That’s why I hope that everyone who still has their loved ones take time each day to treasure them and thank whatever deity they pray to that they are still around.
Finally the question of what did I do wrong to deserve this? Once again, the answer is nothing. This isn’t some punishment for not eating all my vegetables, or not administering to the poor and sick in Bombay. This didn’t happen to “me” specifically. Death did not personally hunt me down and take away the person I love most in my life.
It just is. That’s a hard thing to accept and realize, but I’m working on it.
Angry at yourself for not seeing what would happen and stopping it.
The answer to this one is short and sweet. I’m not God. I’m not omnipotent. I can’t see the future, never could see the future and never will see the future. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight and right now mine is in zoom mode.
Angry at life for letting horrible people live while good people die.
Now this one is hard and I have no answer for it.
At this moment, somewhere in the world, there is a terrible person doing terrible things and enjoying it. A person who personifies pure evil. A person who taints and warps anything and everything around them, causing pain and fear in others. A person who makes the world a worse place by existing. And that person is alive and well.
On the flip side, my husband was a good man. He was a person who tried to help others. A person who tried to do things that took away the pain and fear from others. A person who fought evil in his own small way and tried to make the world a better place. A person who is no longer here.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
Why doesn’t someone do something about it? Well, who? God? Every religion in the world knows that God’s ways are mysterious. That we can’t fathom His reasoning for allowing events to happen. The holocaust and recent events are all testaments to that.
So who else? The moral police? They don’t exist. Society? Well, society can take care of the evil people and often does, but society had no say in my husband dying. It couldn’t have prevented it.
How about Karma? Doesn’t Karma reward the virtuous and punish the wicked? Doesn’t it balance things out in the world?
I simply don’t know.
What I do know is that I am struggling with this one the most. Having an analytical brain (which is great for being a programmer, but not so great for figuring out the complexities of life), I am searching for an answer to this one. Along with about 2 million other people.
In conclusion, even after going through all of this point by point, I’m still angry. I don’t know how long I will be angry. Even the experts can’t agree on that. So I’ll just have to make certain that I don’t turn that anger towards an innocent bystander, like the four footed furry brigade, or the guy who cuts me off on the freeway or just whomever has the misfortune to be standing within the blast zone when my anger becomes too much to handle for the moment.
Because right now, that’s all I know how to do. The rest will have to resolve on its own.
So I think I will leave now and go kick a pillow.