anger was a big one for me, and one probably made worse by my religion. If this had happened before I found God, I wouldn’t have really had anyone to be angry at. But because I know that God is so powerful and loving and kind, the only logical question is why did he let this happen. Why did he let Jack feel so much pain that he felt that suicide was his only option? Why is he letting his family so through this agony?
I definitely wasn’t angry at Jack, I was angry at God.
I expressed this anger very publicly in church, much to the surprise of my friends in church, who for the most part didn’t even know that anything had happened. They were very patient with me, which I appreciated, but equally kept quoting bible verses and telling me to pray, neither of which helped because in that moment I didn’t believe that God or Jesus could possibly exist. For weeks I felt this crushing pain in my chest, burning pain that was sapping up every other emotion I might have felt. I’d gone from feeling every normal emotion whilst in denial to feeling nothing except pure rage and loss and I genuinely worried that the feeling would never leave and I’d be destined to burn up like star and die just from the hot angry emotions living in me. I’ve never been very attuned to my emotions (I just cry all the time, grieving or not) but this feeling was too big and too bright and I wasn’t sure it was going to end.
I have also cried angry tears in more places than I thought possible. Doing laundry? Cry! At work? Cry!!! Walking to the post office? CRY!!!!!!
In the end, I think that crying probably helped me move past this. Crying and praying (against all odds). Hot tears rolling down my red and snotty face, chest heaving so hard that I felt like I might genuinely crack in two pieces. I tried for a long time not to cry, to hold it inside (bad coping strategy) until it got too big and I had to let it out (good coping strategy, my therapist is happy with this development).
Through prayer I felt like I started to connect with God again. Still angry, but dissipating a little every day, until a week after my first outburst at church. During worship, singing ‘Jesus, Jesus, you make the darkness tremble, Jesus, Jesus, you silence fear’ and I felt the anger lift off my chest. Momentarily I felt hollow and weak, before I my chest was instead filled with the Holy Spirit (which I have only ever felt like this once before, and it feels like a heart attack so am always mildly concerned). This was a really crucial moment in me moving on from anger. I’m aware that not everyone has the opportunity for a moment like this to move through the anger, and I’m grateful that I did.
I think I’ll always carry some anger, maybe in the form of ‘why?’ but I don’t feel so scared that it will swallow me whole anymore.