I found myself so angry the other day. Lately I’ve been remembering and looking back at our time line of events—The initial trips to Riley and all that was involved with Sarah’s diagnosis. As I was reflecting on the events and the timing, so many feelings came flooding back with those memories. I remember feeling so helpless while we waited to get answers and a treatment plan; then…I just got plain mad.
I’m usually a pretty calm person. It takes a lot to make me angry. I was surprised at the intensity of what I was feeling. I was mad at myself for not realizing sooner that her arm pain was something serious. I was mad that Riley ER sent us home from the ER without admitting her to get more answers. I was mad that her spots in her lungs were initially over-looked on the ct scan. I was mad that the first chemo protocol didn’t work and it took us 3 months before we knew that. Looking back, there’s so much that I could be angry at. I know that it’s all part of grief and the effects of trauma.
I thought it was interesting as I googled the word “trauma” the example given is about the death of a child. It’s been credited with being the most stressful thing in life that a person could ever have to go through. I guess I have a right to be angry about that. Is it fair that sometimes my brain still forces me to see the memories of my daughter in her final hours—before death took her from our world? I don’t like that those images are framed in my mind. I search and search for better pictures to replace them with, but they’re still there.
Yes, there’s a lot that I could feel angry about… Then I remember how Sarah never got angry about her diagnosis. How joyful and kind she remained even on her worst days. She never wanted to waste the opportunity that God was giving her to show His light, peace, and hope to others. I can almost hear her calming me and saying, “Don’t stay angry Mom. We did the best we could with the information that we had. God still blessed me Mom. I’m healed. I’m good.” I know I have to let myself feel even the emotions that I’m not comfortable with. Directing my anger towards the right enemy is so important. I don’t want to take it out on anyone who doesn’t deserve it. I’m letting go of my anger daily and know that the Lord has promised “vengeance is mine.” So, I’ll trust Him with even this. He will take revenge upon the enemy for every wrong thing that we’ve been dealt. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) I’ll keep asking Him to take my trauma and somehow make it a triumph. Only He can do that.
What about you? Have you found yourself blindsided by anger at some point in your grief journey? What helped you let go of that emotion?