Today I'm Angry

Author: Alice Daniel

Daniels and baby girlI’ve done my best to be “upbeat” for my family. After all, everyone depends on Mom, right? Bake the birthday cakes, organize holidays, plan family vacations, get this one to therapy, that one to the doctor – the list goes on and on. And most days I can - I can said the little engine, I can. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but my life seems to have two different faces. On one hand my life reminds me of a book published years, ago, I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can while the world is at a complete standstill around me. But somehow, at the same time, I’m the one frozen in a time warp while the world carries on around me, as though nothing is wrong.

I’ve been doing okay. I invited the new boyfriend to the family birthday party. I made it through Easter without incident. Memorial Day was a celebration with my TAPS family in DC despite the slight “letdown’ when we TAPS friends went our separate ways. I’ve been feeling pretty good about grief therapy – feeling less and less dependent on my wonderful therapist. And I’ve even managed to get to sleep a few nights before 3:00 a.m., not in my easy chair but in my bed. Progress!

Then Wham!!!! When I least expected it, that beastly, nightmarish animal called anger blindsided me. July 4th, the trip to the cemetery with the requisite flowers adorned with the red, white and blue bow, patriotic music, family bar-b-ques, and the day at the pool, fireworks exploding in the distance. I believe today I may be as miserable as any day in the past 3 years.

I want my baby boy back. I want my family intact. I want to spend the rest of my days with all my family here for holidays. I don’t want to share my grandchild with another man’s family. I don’t understand why this had to happen to me. I still cannot come to terms with the fact I saw my child take his last breath; ask me what was happening to him. It’s not fair. No mother should have to see that. No Mother should have to choose her son’s casket or the music for his funeral. I don’t understand why my precious son was deprived of some of the best years of his life. I don’t know why his daughter will grow up without her Daddy. It’s been almost 3 years and I understand no more than I did on that dismal day in September.

I’m angry. I’m very angry today. I’m living proof that the stages of grief don’t come in a neat, orderly manner. My anger comes in waves, now sometimes even a month without anger. But when I least expect it, anger once again grabs me by the behind and brings me to my knees. Thank goodness there are some good days, weeks, even maybe months. But today I have a deep seeded urge to unleash my rage. I’ve been ashamed of the anger before, done my best to hide it. But just as there will be sadness from time to time for the rest of my life, there will be anger, yes even rage. No longer will I hide my anger or be ashamed of it. Anger is now as much a part of my life as love, laughter and joy. The “pleasant” parts of me must simply make a little room for the anger. I will no longer be ashamed of my anger, but instead will embrace it as a part of my very being, just like love, laughter and joy.