Editor: Sonya Marvel
Contributors: All Members of My Mom Is A Survivor
Anger, which may be experienced at being let down by your child who died or when you are looking for someone to blame for his or her death.
Anger is very common following the death of a child. You may find yourself angry at a situation, or just angry at the world. You will often find that you take out this anger on those closest around you. You do not choose to be angry, but you can choose how to express it. Try talking to the person you are angry with, or write them a letter, which they will never receive. Tell them why you are angry. Talk or write out all of your feelings about that person or situation. Understanding your anger is the first step toward dealing with it. Scream to the top of your lungs, hit a pillow, and kick the bed, if it makes you feel better! Exercise is also a wonderful stress reliever.
I've never blamed John for dying. I have always thought he didn't have a choice in leaving this earth to become an angel. I did get angry with my husband, the girl who shot John and most especially my ex-husband. I guess anyone who said anything against John during his whole life, felt my anger. Anger is something that kept me going. It is a necessary part of the grieving process in order to make it. I was angry because I had no choices and I had no one to tell me how it was the last few moments of John's life.
After John died, I got so angry at my dear sweet husband, that it got to the point, I could not even say John's name to him without getting hysterical. The last few months before John died, my husband and John did not get along. Somehow in my mind, I felt my husband could have cared less if John lived or died. Well, he died and I could not forget how the last few months of my son's life, was fighting for him. This was a major part of the counseling we received. We were told to talk about John to each other, no matter how hysterical I got until we could actually sit down to a meal and John's name not come up at all. This would be the day that we would have discussed everything possible that was bothering both of us. We did get to that point and it really is a good thing we did, because we are together today because of this milestone we crossed together.
My ex-husband - I guess I'll just never get over his part in John's death. He let John die. He put John in a position that put my son's life in danger. He was NOT adult enough to keep John, his own son, safe. I will always feel anger toward my ex-husband. I look for his obituary notice in the newspaper every day. Why should a person like him be allowed to live, when a sweet kind person, like John, had to die? God knows, I have tried to forgive my ex-husband and his family, but I just can not.
Mom to John
9/8/69 - 1/20/89
When our son, Todd, was murdered, my husband was the most angry. The anger I felt was more subdued. You see I am a Christian and God healed me of mad, intense anger years ago. The anger I felt was mostly because there was no insurance on Todd and I was angry that we were not able to give him the burial he deserved, not to say it was a shabby funeral. Just that it was not what I had pictured for my only son. The anger of not getting to have him in my life ever again on this earth. The anger of realizing he will never know the love of his own child, or my having a grandchild by him. The anger of watching others wrapped up in turmoil because of their own anger. Anger can cause you a lot of physical problems as well as emotional ones. Many feel a hatred type of anger wanting to get revenge, but I have never had that kind of anger. God help them to forgive. So I believe when God healed me from anger he knew one day I would be able to forgive the hardest thing in my life to forgive. Not knowing Who or Why Todd was killed hurts inside me but still no anger toward the person/s that took Todd's life. Just a lot of hurt, pain and wanting to see my son again. My prayer is that the person/s that did this terrible crime may ask for God's forgiveness because they have my forgiveness.
Mom to Todd
5/25/64 - 10/13/96
Tomorrow, June 23rd, will be one year since my son's died. My anger has mostly gone by now, but still there are moments that I am angry at the man who hit him, angry at the paramedics for not letting my son go, as he was not breathing when they got to him, angry at the Doctors who kept telling us, he may live, angry at myself for not being there more for Joey, and angry at Joey for not wearing his helmet.
I am also angry at the stupid laws that say it is all right for an adult who is mentally unstable to still do whatever they want, with no regard to their own safety. Helmets are not a law for anyone over 16 in NY. Yesterday would have been Joey's 28th birthday. My oldest son John's birthday was the day before. Throughout their whole lives we have celebrated them together, the boys always preferred it that way. For the rest of his life my son John will have to celebrate his birthday alone, and that makes me angry. It shouldn't be that way. Instead of a cake for two, this year became a cake for one, and although we all tried to make it a happy occasion, we all felt Joey's loss more deeply than ever. I don't think I will ever get over the anger of burying my son, when it should be the other way around.
Mom to Joey
6/21/71 - 6/23/98
Anger. That's such a tame word for what I felt at the murder of my son. Blood rage comes closer to my feelings at the time. I never knew I had something that savage in me. The thought kept repeating itself, "How DARE they?"
My ancestry is Irish, Scottish and Native American and the warrior instinct of all 3 was released in me. It was ugly and vicious and I will not go into details. However, little by little, I gained control of it, although it is by no means gone. I turned it into a cold rage that is much more useful. It serves me, instead of me serving it. This anger gives me the motivation to see justice done, no matter how hard, no matter how long. It also gives me the desire to help others that go through this hell. Most of all, it gives me the strength to go on. My therapist told me that anger is a very useful emotion to help deal with grief, as long as you use it right. She's right, because the times I have wanted to quit, wanted to give up, because it's too hard to go on, I remember how much these two demons have taken from me and I vow that they won't get anything more. I remember what was done to my son and the anger surges back, giving me a reason to keep fighting. As much as my life has changed, learning to use my anger correctly, has taught me that even emotions that are supposed to be bad, can be good. I guess that's what is meant by "righteous anger." Even God became angry and if He can be angry at injustice and wrong, how could I, as a human, a mom, not be angry at the senseless murder of my son?
Mom To Jamie
2/12/73 - 5/12/98
Sit Down, God...I'm Angry
By R. F. Smith, Jr.
Pastor R. F. Smith, in this personal account of the death of his son, admits his anger at God, relates the long journey of dealing with this anger, and details the process of making a pilgrimage to the place where he could live, work, and love again.
No Time for Goodbyes: Coping With Sorrow, Anger, and Injustice After a Tragic Death
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