How to Deal with Anger in Grief
Grieving is a normal part of a human being after going through a loss. This can be loss through death or separation. It is also normal to grieve when one losses a job or had to go through a major life changing event. There are many stages of grief and anger is one of them. This is a very critical stage. Anger expressed during the grief period can make or destroy a person. Controlled anger is a healthy emotion. Although this is a necessary stage, one should not stay in anger for too long. It can turn into an uncontrollable emotion that can lead to destruction. People who do not learn how to deal with anger in grief may end up being hateful and vengeful.
Anger is expressed when a person feels helpless and out pf control of the situation. Usually it has a target. It can be at God, a partner, at doctors or at the person thought to have caused the loss or death. It can even be directed at life where the person views it as being unfair. Sometimes, the person may not even understand why they had to go through the loss.
How Anger in Grief Manifests
When the loss takes place, the person may get into a state of denial where he does not acknowledge the current events. He may go on with life normally. This may be followed by a period of shock and denial. After some time, the person may realize the full impact of the loss. This is a period of great pain and guilt where anger follows as a way of dealing with the grief. This emotion can be expressed in a rational or irrational way where one expresses it even to strangers. This is a means of getting control of the situation at hand and the loss.
How to Help a Person Dealing with Anger in Grief
A grieving person needs a lot of love and understanding. Even when he expresses anger to those close to him, they should understand that this is a normal process of coming to terms with what has just happened. The person needs help in understanding what he is going through. Here are tips on how to help him deal with the anger.
Encourage Expression of Emotions Felt
When people are grieving, they go through many confusing and contradicting emotions. They should be encouraged to talk about how they feel. Let them express the emotions they feel towards the target of their anger. If they need to cry, shout or scream, encourage them to do so. Be a good listener. Mostly, what the person needs is not someone who can advise him but someone who understands what he is going through.
Encourage him to Talk about the Incident
Every time the person talks about the loss, some anger is let out. Let him talk as much as he wants. With time, all the anger will be gone. Although he may be a long way from accepting what has happened, at least he will have dealt with one of the destructive emotions in the grieving period.
Be Good Company
Although a grieving person may want to spend more time alone, he needs someone to make him realize that life still goes on even after the loss. Help him get back to the activities he loved before the tragedy. Do something fun and engaging together. Make him laugh again. At first, he will be shocked or even feel guilty of enjoying life even if it is for a few minutes but with time, this will help him deal with the anger.
When in anger, all a person can think of is the loss and how unfair life is. Remind him of the good things, good times and achievements he had before the loss. Fill his thoughts with positive memories. If it is a loved one who died, remind him of the good times they shared and the positive impact the person had on him and others.
When anger in grief is destructive, the person may need grief counseling and medication. He may be defiant but if you approach the topic with a lot of love and understanding, he will agree to get help. Accompany him to the sessions and help him as much as you can.
Anger is a normal reaction but it should be dealt with properly for the person to completely recover from the loss.
If you are interested in the grief process, please review the program.
For more information on grief counseling courses, please review the program.