RAGE: This is an emotion we may feel when grieving but be reluctant to admit. When someone we love dies, we feel the raw wound of their absence. The raw emotions that cut like a knife. The raw gut wrenching pain.
ANGER: The force of our anger may surprise us. We may be unable to contain it. We feel the anger that this could happen to us, to them. We may feel anger that it wasn’t us instead of them, at the unfairness of life.
GRIEF: The paradox of grief is it is a kaleidoscope of feelings and feeling nothing at all. Grief exists in a time warp. There are no absolutes, no number of days, or months, or years we can put on it. Since we are unable to control it; it may feel like it controls us.
EMPTINESS: The absence of our loved one leaves us feeling horribly empty. Suddenly we are left with an enormous void we don’t know how or even want to fill. Sometimes in our desperate need to block out the emptiness we fill it with feelings of anger or rage.
Those feelings are not wrong and may actually be justified. However, we need to be careful that we do not become owned by those feelings. We need to be able to see other aspects of our life unclouded by the rage we may feel about the death of our loved one. Otherwise we stand to lose even more. The people and places we love. The passions and dreams we once had.
HOPE: One day, there will be a flicker of hope. It may come out of nowhere, catching us by surprise. It may be fleeting but it is a beginning of letting go of the pain and getting ready to engage in life once more. Hope does not eliminate sadness but it makes it easier to bear. It lets us know we will not always feel this way. Better days are coming. It gives us something to hold unto while we are getting there.
Deb Kosmer; firstname.lastname@example.org