According to Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler, anger is the second stage of grief.
I’m not there yet.
I honestly don’t know that I ever will be. At least not for any extended period of time.
There have been flashes of anger. The moment I wrote the date on the police statement I filled out the day Brady died, realizing it was only two days before my birthday, there was a brief flash of anger. But I quickly remembered what depression does to you and that he likely didn’t choose the date; my anger quickly subsided.
There was a little bit of righteous anger against depression and the lies it tells people along the way.
And a week ago, there was a bit more of that same righteous anger as I reflected on how this year’s All Saints Day took on a different meaning for me than it has in years past.
But that’s all the anger I’ve been able to muster.
I’m not angry at Brady – mostly because I get it, as much as someone who has never walked that path, but knows that things look incredibly different when you’re in a dark, dark place. I sort of imagine what Brady was going through as if he was trapped in the Upside Down from Stranger Things. He was as much a victim in this as I am. I just can’t be angry at that – just incredibly sad.
Yet it seems that people expect me to be angry. I’m unsure if it’s their own empathy – their reaction to how they think they’d feel if they were in my place. If it’s their own feelings (it’s legit to be angry – I’m just not). Or if it’s because they are relying on what Kubler Ross and Kessler have said about grief (or maybe a bit of all three). Either way, I keep running into people who expect anger to be in the rotation of feelings.
I’m just sad.
Not all the time either – I have good moments and bad.
And that’s okay.
Because not everyone grieves the same way – we all do it differently. Something this experience continues to thrust in my face as I interact with others who are grieving. I’m in a very different place than many around me and that’s okay too.
Which is why I really like this card:
These are the real five stages of grief. Crying in public. Crying in the car. Crying alone while watching TV. Crying at work. Crying when you’re a little drunk.
I’ve done them all. And I’m sure others have too.
You can buy this at Emily McDowell’s store. All of her stuff is pretty great, but her grief cards are top notch. If you’re looking for something to give to someone in your life who is grieving, look at picking up one of her cards.