When you lose a loved one unexpectedly anger is sure to be part of your grief at some point. You may find yourself angry towards God, yourself or even your loved one depending on how you lost them. It is perfectly normal to be faced with anger on your grief journey. How you handle anger on the grief journey is what is important.
Anger looks different on each one of us and it is also unique to each situation. The anger you feel and what it looks like in your life, may be nothing like mine.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope
When I’m grieving my anger takes on the role of a question…”Why?”. I know without a doubt that God has a reason for taking my loved ones before I felt it was there time. In my mind they could have done so much more for Him if they’d had more time on earth. Yet, I know in my heart that God’s work for them was finished. That is He called them home.
God’s timing for us on earth is perfect. We don’t have to understand why. We just have to accept it.
Losing my grandfather was so very, very hard on me. He lived his life serving the Lord and I didn’t (and still don’t completely) understand why God wouldn’t have wanted him to continue. I do know that it was time for me to learn to serve the Lord in my own life. I was gifted with his example to follow. I have done a very poor job of doing so most of my life, but I am pushing on. I want to serve and love the Lord like he did.
Many times since my grandfather went to be with the Lord I’ve found myself wishing I could ask him for advice. He always had wisdom to share when my emotions were getting the best of me. One of the greatest gifts he ever gave me was during the summer of 2000, when I was 16. My heart had been broken by boys so many times that year and I was a mess. Sitting on a bed in Mexico bawling my eyes out he came and sat next to me. He looked at me and said, “You’ve got to stop wearing your heart on your sleeve, Misty.”
At the time it was painful to hear. I was a heartbroken teenage girl far away from home. All I wanted was my mom and dad to hold me close and tell me that everything was going to be ok. God gave me something even greater…though I didn’t realize it at the time.
He knew exactly what I needed to hear. Those words from my grandfather have impacted me time and time again throughout my life. I didn’t learn from them right away. It took me many years to understand what it meant to ‘not wear your heart on your sleeve’. However, each time I let my emotions take over me, my grandfather’s words speak to my heart.
This side of heaven I won’t have the answer to my questions of “Why?”. I’ve reached the point where I’m not angry about losing my loved ones unexpectedly anymore. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss them tremendously or that I wouldn’t give anything to have just one more moment with them again. It just means that I’ve accepted that God’s ways are not mine and that I can’t understand His thoughts, actions or timing.
Accepting that God’s timing is perfect is the key to letting go of anger on your grief journey.
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. We’re in the midst of our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.