Sunday, September 17, 2006

Anger step seven in grief

Saying for the day: If you must be angry be angry at God. He will forgive where others may not.

Today and every Sunday for the next three Sunday’s we are looking at the steps in the grief process as described by Pastor Granger Westberg. These steps are:
1. Shock
2. Emotion
3. Depression
4. Physical pain
5. Fear or panic
6. Guilt
7. Anger
8. We function poorly
9. The breaking in of hope
10. The start of the new life
Of all the steps in grieving anger is probably the worst .
Deep inside we are angry because we have lost somebody we love, or because our life has to change.
We did not want this to happen. It is unfair.

The problem with anger in grieving is that it has no object.
It is just there.

So we assign it an object.
We become angry at the doctor for not saving him.
Or we become angry with the funeral director because of the way the funeral was handled.
It could be we become angry with the Pastor for the way he handled things.
All of that is not so bad.
But many people turn their anger on family.

I have seen many nice families tear themselves apart after a death.
They say things that should never have been said.
They make accusations.

All because they didn’t understand where the anger was coming from.

I tell people when you become angry after a death become angry at God.
Now that sounds odd for a clergy person to say but it makes sense.
When the grief is over God will still love you.
However, if you turn on your relatives they may not.
God knows your grieving and God understands.
God will forgive you.
If you must get angry God is the very best target.

You can of course, since you now know that the anger comes from the grief, say to yourself “ I am angry because I am grieving . It is nobody’s fault and I don’t have to blame anybody”.
If you do that it will pass.
You can even ask God to help you.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard where trains still run and little old ladies carry shotguns.– Dr. Fortress wants to get the trains running again and so he is going to try blowing up that section of the mountain rather than putting in a new tunnel. He thinks it will be much faster.
Dr. Fortress brought in a Speeder , which is like a small car on the tracks, to ride out and look at the tunnel. While he was up talking to Eino somebody or something stole it. At first Eino thought it was Tommy, the undertaker’s kid, but the man at the coaking station said that when it went by it was being driven by a big White Rabbit in a blue sweater. The Rabbit waved at him. He couldn’t see anybodyelse in the Speeder. Later it was found abandoned just where the track starts up to the mounatin. Mrs. Trumble said that people can see what kind of Rabbit this is that goes around stealing people’s property. She seems bound and determined to save Pigeon Falls from the Rabbit. Of course nobody was hurt and Dr. Fortress was only slightly inconvenienced. The mountain waited for him to come.
Mo is back. Remember she was the state inspector who approved the tunnel at Crippled Creek. She is not sure it is a good idea to blow up the mountain. She is afraid it will do something to the springs that feed Crippled Creek and it could go dry. She doesn’t really have the authority to stop the attempt but she has filed a complaint. Her brother , Dr. Fortress, has stopped speaking to her again just like last summer. The Methodist ladies are happy to see her . She makes great pasties. She brought with her a new safron receipe for Nancy.

Today's Link: Categorically Unoriginal- Remember to leave the same old Dr. John in the comment to get those unoriginal JCPOINTS. Check your total HERE.
.Went to Church this morning. I went early enough to have coffee and got to see a lot of people I haven't seen for a time. It was fun having coffee with them. The service was good , the singing great. I even learned some things that I will share in Wednesday's post. After church we went grocery shopping. Ran into the wife of my real estate agent and she said to hang in there. My daughter has a showing of her house today so it could happen. Betty worked on the mountain for a bit. My sister, who doesn't love Bush called to see if we had sold the house. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Mrs. Trumble is wrong. The rabbit regularly waves at people, so he must be a nice rabbit.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

When I read the title of today's post, it brought me up short. Get angry at God? Hold the phone! That goes against everything I've been taught. But I kept reading and you're right. God will always love us and forgive us. Once again, you've shown what a wise man you are.

The white rabbit drove a car? How big is this rabbit? I've been picturing a cute little bunny and apparently he's human sized?

4:58 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I've learned that we might as well tell God exactly how we feel (He already knows anyhow) and tell Him that we can't help feeling that way, that maybe we even WANT to feel that way and don't know how to or can't change that ourselves. He understands and it's HIS work to change us, which if we allow Him to, He will.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

I always think if I get angry at God he will send a lightening bolt to knock me out.

I will say when Maya left I was a little angry at Him because he took her so young and she was such a part of our family but there was no lightening bolt, only a sense of "Now she is in the best place ever". We were lucky to have her for the nine years.

6:34 AM  
Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Angry with God! Who gets angry with God. People should get angry at themselves rather than with God. Whatever bad happens to us, it is not God's fault, it is ours because we chose to do it.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Hops said...

Hey thanks for the link! It was compeletely unexpected and made my morning!

Very interesting post. I think the danger in your "get mad at God" logic is that some people will stay mad.

I've found a good alternative to anger is activism, which channels the anger into a form that will teach others. Think MADD or mothers lobbying Congress for stricter gun control guidelines. This harnesses the grieving person's anger and puts it towards a worthy cause.

Better to be mad at the government than God.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

It's very hard to keep up with all the happenings in Pigeon Falls but I like the seeing the dragon near your fortress. It looks harmless enough.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

As always, wonderful direction and post on the Grief episodes. YOu are so right. God doesn't mind if we yell or get angry with Him, personal relationships are like that.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

This is so true. I think so many times, I keep thinking that it's not God's fault, and so I feel guilty even thinking getting angry at him- but you're right, he loves us regardless, and there is nothing he won't forgive.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I know people who have gotten angry at God over a death and I have always said I would be afraid to get angry at God, but the way you explain it makes perfect sense. He knows what we are going through and he will always love us. I never looked at it that way until now. Thank you!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

you are right that is an odd thing to say, to get mad at God if we must be angry at someone. it is odd but i can see your point and yes, God would forgive and understand through it all.
the rabbit is being mischievious eh? kiinda cute that he is to his old tricks. glad Dr. Fortress is going to find a way.
glad you both had a nice visit after church. it's always good to see old friends. glad you were able to get out. hugs all around. good luck with Pennie's showing today...

4:05 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Dr. John, that White Rabbit isn't so nice anymore. Maybe he took exception to being shot.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Thank you for this. My daughter is going through painful divorce right now, and she just passed through the anger stage. Actually she is at the breaking in of hope stage. The anger was the worst. I had never seen her like that. It wasn't like her. I suggested anger management classes, which of course made her angry. It was her birthday yesterday and for one of her gifts I gave her a T-shirt that read, "My anger management class pisses me off." She laughed and it broke the ice.

But, reading your post, I now understand her anger. Thank you.



8:02 PM  
Blogger butterflies said...

Does anybody love Bush?????

I know all the stages of grief all too well and sometimes we can pass through a stage only to revisit it.
Anger is a good thing.Its way better than being depressed.At least you can still feel.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so true, John. God is strong enough to take our anger, and much more quick to forgive. And it seems that when we direct our anger at Him, for some reason it dissipates more quickly. Interesting, that. Tina

11:12 PM  

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