Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross first explored the five stages of grieving or mourning theory in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The five stages include: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
I AM ANGRY…..
I’m angry at the loss of Lilly, the disease, the doctors, God…. I’m angry with Lilly, and most of all I’m angry with myself. Did she not think of the aftermath of her actions? Did she not know that losing her would break us down to our core? Why couldn’t she have called someone that night? Why couldn’t she have come and talked to me? I’m angry at her selfish actions. That night she ONLY thought of herself. We didn’t matter!
Every day has become a struggle. We break down every time we hear sirens. Stretchers remind us of that awful day. Simple conversations become triggers for us. The other day Simmi overheard someone say: ‘he didn’t make it’. The group was talking about someone not making the football team. Hearing these four words were enough to trigger the memory of the EMTs telling us that ‘She didn’t’ make it’. These four words were enough to cause a meltdown. Five hours of non-stop crying….She was inconsolable. Do you know how helpless and defeated you feel when you cannot help your child? I’d be lying to Simmi if I told her that ’don’t worry, it’ll get better’. It will never get better! This is our new reality. There will always be triggers and memories.
Life is far from ‘normal’. Everything feels off…. I don’t know how to ‘fix’ things. How to make everyone feel safe. I’m angry that I have no control. I couldn’t control the disease, I couldn’t control my child. Prayers didn’t work, interventions didn’t work, rehab didn’t work, psychiatrists and psychologists didn’t work. Always being there didn’t work! Loving her didn’t work!
I was always taught that mans duty is to try but defeat and victory are in the hands of God. What kind of God takes away a child. What kind of God creates a disease that only a few understand. Why even try when we have no control over the outcome. I feel that we are being punished.
I’m angry with myself. How could I be so selfish? What kind of parent doesn’t protect their child? Why didn’t I take her to rehab? That night I did nothing to help my child! Yes - Lilly and I had an explosive relationship. I was always trying to ‘save’ her and she was always trying to live life on her terms. Did she lose her life because of our explosive relationship? I could have been kinder, more understanding. Should I have let her live her life on her own terms? Would it have made a difference?
Feelings of anger have not lessened my love for Lilly. Lilly is in my every thought, my every breath. However, I wish I could pull her back, show her the destruction caused by her actions, and then give her a huge hug and shower her with immense love.
I am angry towards everyone that hurt Lilly, that didn’t understand Lilly. I have a list of people that I’d like to see suffer for what they did to Lilly. Lilly didn’t deserve the ‘shit‘ she was put through. How could you call yourself family, how could you call yourself her friend. I pray that Karma is actually a thing and the universe settles the score.
I’ve never been a vengeful person. I normally walk away from things that hurt me or make me feel uncomfortable. I let a lot of things just slide. But the anger in me has turned me into a monster. I feel like a bad person. I feel like I’m going crazy. I feel confused. Why am I so angry? Is it normal to be angry?
I’ve tried all the recommended coping techniques. Therapy, talking to Lilly, writing to Lilly, journaling, exercising, visualizing cutting cords with the people that have hurt Lilly. Nothing has helped me cope with my anger. It’s so easy to read this on paper, so easy to hear this from a professional but so hard to implement.
The bottom line is: I think of myself as a good, reasonable, person. Losing Lilly has made me crazy, erratic, weak, and all sort of things that just aren’t me. I haven’t spoken about my feelings of angry because I feel like people would be horrified if they knew exactly how I was feeling. I’m not strong, I’m not handling the loss well, I am not poised and I am not graceful.
I AM ANGRY!