“Anger surfaces once you are feeling safe enough to know you will probably survive whatever comes. At first, the fact you lived through the loss is probably surprising to you. Then more feelings hit, and anger is usually at the front of the line as feelings of sadness, panic, hurt and loneliness also appear. “—David Kessler
Who knows why the waves of grief set in when they do? Or why sometimes are more strong than others? This round, I’m sure, has been triggered by the time of year—it was last August that Vernon spent those twenty days from going into the hospital with an infection to breathing his last breath. It was the most traumatic part of the whole event, I suppose because before then, there had always been a smidgen of hope. For most of this year, I just felt sorry for him, sorry for the kids, sad that we have to live without our person. This round, there was little space for feeling sad, for missing him. I’ve been angry. I felt abandoned. Fearful again of the worst case scenarios. I’m not saying it’s logical, but it’s been overwhelming. I also hear that year anniversaries are major triggers for grief. But even knowing that, one can’t really be prepared for how it will surface.
Yesterday, I came upon the phrase ‘secondary losses,’ which helped me a lot. Here is a little graph. It’s a different level of mourning—something that, until now, I haven’t begun to have a word for myself. Naming things is important. But ultimately, it’s all grief.
Here’s another chart that people might find helpful as they navigate their way through the stages of grief. 😛