I am going to focus on grieving and growth for the few days. The most commonly known process of grief is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross five stages of grief.
Grief is not a linear process. What is referred to as “stages” is a framework to understand how grieving works. The stages don’t necessarily go in order and you can “go back” to other stages. You can also be in two stages at once, such as depression and bargaining and/or anger.
Grief and loss is not limited to the death of a loved one, coworker, friend, or beloved pet. You can grieve any loss. Examples of loss include: divorce, the ending of a relationship, jobs, friendships. You can grieve changes, even positive ones like graduating college.
Loss is defined as:
1.”The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.
“I feel a terrible sense of loss”
2. A person or thing that is badly missed when lost.
“She will be a great loss to many people.”
I want to focus on anger. This can be a confusing emotion. In the past, I was angry at a friend who had died. He drove intoxicated and wrecked his car. I was angry at how he died and angry at him for dying. I also felt guilt and anger at myself. I “should have” picked him up at the bar when he called. I was tired and heading for bed and just didn’t want to go out. I “should have” gone with him and his friends to the bar as designated driver. At times it was a general sense of anger at the Universe and the Deity for not saving him. These emotional responses are normal. It took me years to understand and let go of the guilt.
I grieve the death of myself. I am angry about the changes that happen due to my brain injury: that I did not recover fully and at all I have lost. At times I get angry at the people trying to help. I just want to be left alone. It’s a blind, impotent anger. There’s nothing I can do to change the situation. Here, anger is not helpful. It prevents continued healing and perhaps acceptance by holding me hostage.