What would it be like to plug electric voltage into one's stomach, and then turn it on, letting the ripples of electrifying current course through the body, one after the other, up and down, screaming through your nerves and veins...?
Anger. I have not been brave enough to write about anger until now. Actually, I haven't understood anger in grief until now. I have felt angry, but at what? why? how? And what is there to do with such illusive anger, so intangible, unable to be pinned down, figured out, unravelled...
Lately, anger (maybe rage would be more accurate) courses through my system with intense electric voltage, leaving me on the brink of vomiting almost every second of the day. To make it even worse, though, it has a companion, two actually. As a current of anger ripples up and down my insides, a wave of sickening guilt follows right behind, prickled with terrifying fear, panic, or anxiety.
I am so incredibly relieved to know that this is "normal". Therese A. Rando* writes, Grief is not just sadness or depression. It is a whole host of emotions ranging from anxiety to anger to guilt to confusion to relief and more. More specifically about anger, she writes, Anger is a natural consequence of being deprived of something valued. If you try to take a bone away form a dog, he will growl and bite in an angry attempt to stop you from taking it away. She later asks, How would you feel if your car was stolen while you were inside a therapy appointment? (as a hypothetical situation). We feel angry when something we value is "stolen" from us. Such is the reason for anger in death... One of them anyway :)
What is insanely difficult is knowing what to do with this anger that society doesn't understand. Hence, the guilt. Well, why should I feel angry? I should be so grateful! That person didn't deserve to be snapped at! I shouldn't have gotten upset over that little thing! But inside, the electrifying currents are almost uncontrollable and, speaking for myself, I really just want to scream at most everyone I see in sheer rage for the horrible unfairness of my husband being "taken from me", being forced into single parenthood and widowhood, for being forced out of one life and into another...
This is why, I am quite certain, widows often flee to foreign countries, pick up and take off, travel the globe, sometimes even leaving children behind. They need to escape friends and family, any kind of close members of society... Because the electric currents are flowing and there is no release. If we try to have a casual conversation, we'll hurt the ones we love. We feel angry at others for both real and non-real reasons, and no one understands. But the intensity builds, rage is uncontrollable, and the guilt is devastating. So often, we end up doing something extreme.
Be warned, dear friends and family. The electric currents are flowing. Please keep you distance. :)
*How to go on living when someone you love dies, by Therese A. Rando, Ph.D.