Anger: Second Stage of Grief


As stated in last week’s blog dealing with denial (click here to read), grieving can be for any traumatic issue. In my life, I’m processing grief over multiple losses and problems. However, if you have experienced sexual abuse, domestic turmoil, divorce, racial injustice–well, look at the news headlines–you can plummet into mourning.

What bears repeating is: 1. Grief does not follow a timeline. You may be struggling for a year. You may find new joy in a month. Neither is wrong. 2. The five stages of grief will be cyclical. You may have reached acceptance and suddenly cycled back to anger. 3. Take one day at a time

#4 Most Important: Lean on God. Remember the following:

Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross conceptualized the process of grief. She named five steps or stages.

Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance








In my denial, I became a turtle. I hid. I refused to see friends. I spent my days in mindless tasks or with my nose buried in a book.

Then one day that turtle evolved. She became a snapping turtle. My husband would ask, “What’s for dinner?” I’d snap, “Cook it and find out.” He’d leave his Gatorade bottle on the counter. I’d show him exactly how to toss the plastic in the trash. Once my anger subsided, I’d apologize. He’d tell me he understood. He knew this temper had nothing to do with him, and the tantrums did not characterize who I was.

(Have I ever told you I married a saint?)

These days my poor, old, nearly blind and deaf dog bears the brunt of my anger. Fortunately, she’s too blind and deaf to recognize it.

The University of Washington gives clear insight into what the anger of grief looks like.

It’s not directed at the deceased for having the nerve to die.

Anger Can Look Like

  1. Pessimism. Did your spouse die? You might say, “I’ll never be happy again.” Maybe you’ll think, “I’m going to be alone all the days of my life.
  2. Cynicism/sarcasm. You may think, Of course, this had to happen to me. No one else would understand what I’m going through. How come she gets to have her …  (Disclaimer, sarcasm, is my go-to emotion. But! I didn’t fall into my gift of cynicism.
  3. Irritability. Here my gloating ends. I snapped at everyone.
  4. Being aggressive or passive-aggressive. Demanding everyone cater to you because you’re suffering. Or not doing anything you need to do because–hey, I’m not in the mood and this feeling I have is legit.

I recommend you click on the link above and read in greater depth about the five stages of grief.

Hey, wait! Click on the links below and experience my first novel in the Treasured Lives series!

Don’t forget Borrowed Lives

Book three, Tangled Lives, comes out in July. You’ll want to read book one.

Meredith Jaynes, an artisan, cycles through the stages of grief and then she finds three girls abandoned by their parents. If she turns them over to CPS they’ll be separated. If she takes them? What the heck would she do with three waifs?

You’ll laugh, cry, and grow as you read this novel.





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