Lately I am angry

More often than not

Not out in the open

In your face angry

But silent subtle

Under currents

Of unnamed rage

Assaulting me for

Being held hostage

By my silence.

Most of us, if we are honest, will admit to having been angry. Some of us may be angry right now. While each of us may describe it differently, anger is one of those emotions, we, as feeling human beings, experience.

Based upon our culture, upbringing, gender, religious beliefs, and a multitude of other factors, some of us are more comfortable with being angry or being in the presence of someone who is angry than others. Anger can be used in positive ways to promote changes within ourselves or our world. It also can and often is used destructively towards ourselves and others and our world.

When someone important to us dies or we are permanently let go from a job that we loved, or our husband or wife wants a divorce that we do not, it is easy to discern the cause of our anger. It is also often easy to know who we are angry with.

There is another kind of anger though that is not so easily explained or understood. Most of us are familiar with the expression, “You have to pick your battles,” and there is a good deal of merit in this statement. The second part to that expression that is not stated but which is implied often goes unheeded.

Picking our battles involves making a conscious decision to either fight or let go. The other choice is LET GO not stuff, deny, pretend it doesn’t matter; sulk silently, keep score. Many of us find ourselves doing these things sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, but both ways have the same end result.

Over time, these unresolved issues become heavy baggage weighing down our hearts. They get in the way of our enthusiasm, passion, and joy. They compromise our ability to be compassionate and empathetic towards others and even ourselves.

The easiest solution of course is to check our baggage at the end of everyday and make sure there is nothing in our suitcase that should have been addressed or let go of. In this way, we will not add anymore unnecessary weight to our lives. The next step for lighter travel is to look deeply into the crevices of our own suitcase for the remnants of anger that lurk there; then we can acknowledge them; examine them, and decide whether they still belong there today.

Being angry is not wrong. Oftentimes, it is the most natural response to a situation, especially one we perceive as unfair. Deciding to just add it to our anger pile, take it out on others, harm ourselves or others are wrong choices that will only add to our problems.

Are there people or situations in your life that you need to make a decision about? Do you need to clear the air or clean house by letting go of things you no longer need?

Deb Kosmer





© 2006


Deb Kosmer

Deb Kosmer

Deb has worked at Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice for ten years, the first two as a hospice social worker and the last eight as Bereavement Support Coordinator supporting families before and after the death of their loved ones. She provides supportive counseling, developed and facilitates a variety of grief support groups, including a well-attended group for men only as well as other educational events. Deb received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-Oshkosh and her Master’s degree in Social Work from UW Milwaukee. She received her certification in Thanatology through ADEC. Her writing has appeared in New Leaf Magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone, Living with Loss, Grief Digest, numerous hospice publications and EAP publications. Some of her poetry on death and dying will be included in a college textbook for social workers in end of life soon. New Leaf has also used some of her poetry for a line of sympathy and anniversary of death cards. On a personal level, Deb's 14-year-old son died after being struck by a car. Her 31-year-old sister had died in a car accident eight months earlier, and her 56-year-old father died from a heart attack exactly three years before. These three unexpected deaths within three years started Deb on a journey she never wanted to be on and she learned first-hand the importance of having the help and support of others. In the years since, she has experienced other losses, the most recent being the unexpected death of her 44-year-old step-daughter who died from complications three months after routine surgery. Deb's passions are writing, reading, education, nature, and family. She is currently working on a book of her grief poetry. She recently moved with her husband to Waypost Camp, Hatley WI. Her husband accepted a job there as Property Manager and his position allows them to live on-site with acres of woods and a lake. She anticipates the quiet beauty to be a strong catalyst for writing.

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