Monday, March 18, 2013

Anger Management

I don't have cable, and I haven't seen his new show, so I can not make a Charlie Sheen joke here, but what I can do is tell you that I am angry.    If you're a person of at least normal intelligence, you are familiar with the 5 stages of grief, and you also know that anger is one of them.   However, what I am learning about those 5 stages, is that they are not neat little packages of emotion that you open in a specific order before moving on to the next one.  In fact, in my experience, they aren't stages at all.  The word "stages" implies that they are levels or steps you move through with some sort of hierarchy or organization. There is no organization to grief.   It's not a tidy, well-swept staircase you can ascend to the next period of your life.  It's a rocky, slippery mountain.  A steep cliff face that towers before you.   Sometimes you have to climb sideways.  Sometimes you have to work your way down to a better foothold before you can climb up again.  Sometimes, you lose your grip and you slide back to the bottom, skinning yourself in the process.  Grief is a mess.  A bloody, scattered, incomprehensible mess.  And the only way to get through it - is to just get through it.  You have to square your shoulders, steady your hands, secure your foothold, and just climb.  If you fall, you try again.  Again and again and again - until you reach the top.  Even then, the scars you got along the way will still be with you forever.
But, I digress.   Back to being angry.   I am fist clenching, teeth grinding angry.   White hot, supernova angry.  I am angry my baby is gone.  I am angry I have to deal with this pain.   I am angry my daughter was robbed of her life and of her future.   I am angry that nothing is the same - and that it will never be the same again.   I could go on and on.  What angers me above all of this - the one thing that really puts me over the top is the phrase "This is part of God's plan".   Are you kidding me?  A plan?  A plan for my child to die?   A plan to take away my joy and excitement and replace it with the purest form of anguish you could ever imagine?   I understand people don't know what to say to someone who is grieving.   I understand they just want me to feel better.   They don't know how to help, so they do the best they can to try to take away the pain.   They bring food.   They offer a shoulder to cry on.  They say things like "She's in a better place." or "She's an angel watching over you."   Those, I can handle.   But, "God has a plan for you", sends me over the edge.   I do not want to hear that.  I do not want to believe that - and I won't.   What lesson did I possibly need to learn that I could not have done so with Kenley in my arms?  What path was I not following that my child needed to die for me to see?  No.   This is NOT part of any sort of plan.  To say it is a part of a plan is to say that this was done on purpose.   Let the magnitude of that sink in for a little bit.  On purpose.   I looked up the word "purpose" in the dictionary and got these two definitions " the reason for which something exists or is done" and "an intended or desired result, end, aim, goal"   The reason for my child's existence was her death - and the life I would then lead because of it?   She was intended to die?   No.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.  
According to the US Census Bureau, there is one birth every 7 seconds.  That means on the day my daughter was born, 86,400 other children were also born  - just in our country.   Of those children, some will grow up to do great and wonderful things.   Some will grow up to lead average, normal lives.  And, sadly, some will grow up troubled and will use their gift of life to inflict pain upon others.   But, it's MY child that has a purpose to die?   Not the one who will grow up to beat his wife and his children?   Not the one who will grow up to go on a shooting spree?   MY baby was selected for this "purpose"?   HER death is a part of a "plan"?  Nope.   I will not swallow that.   What happened was terrible.   It should not have happened.  But there is no rhyme or reason to WHY it happened.   Trying to mold a tragedy into a grand plan is like trying to put toothpaste back inside the tube.  Messy, impossible, and pointless.  Life is not fair.   Horrible things happen to wonderful people and wonderful things happen to horrible people.  I refuse to believe that this was inflicted upon me with a sense of purpose and intent - even for the reason to make me "stronger" or to set into motion a series of events that would not have otherwise occurred.  Tragedy is not a gateway to bigger and better things, and I take offense to the argument that says otherwise.
 I know people who say this to me have all the best intentions.   People who believe this phrase do so because it helps them make sense of the senseless.   If something terrible is a part of a plan, if there is some "greater good" or end result, maybe it makes this bitter pill easier for some to swallow. (You can't have the rainbow without the storm, right?)   Not for me.   It does not make me feel better at all to hear this.  When someone tells me that this is all "part of God's plan", I just get angrier than I already am.  I want to scream and yell and stomp my feet.  I want to throw things across the room just to watch them shatter like I have shattered.  I do not believe that my pain was planned.  I can't.  I won't.
Instead of focusing on WHY this happened, I just have to focus on HOW I am going to get through it.   I have to focus on securing my anchor point and pulling myself up this mountain, rather than getting caught up in the reason why I am climbing it.  At this point, the reason is irrelevant.   I'm here.  I'm full of firey fury and icy sorrow - but I'm here and I have to do something about it.   Every day is full of a myriad of emotions.  Every day is an uphill battle, but it is a battle I will win.   I will do it BECAUSE of my emotions and not in spite of them.   Anger - above all emotions - is an excellent motivator. Just look at any war that has ever, or will ever, be fought.  I need my anger.  I need it to propel me forward, to keep me moving.  So, yes, I am angry.  I have every right to be.   But, never forget - this blog is not a cry for help.   It is a call to arms!


  1. I am glad you are angry. THAT isa very healthy emotion. My husband and I both battle with the "Gods Plan" and "In a Better Place" comments that get said by so many. God or the God I invision would NOT harm a child and a better place is a place on earth with those we love. Perhaps I am not a true Believer.
    Hang in there Rebecca and grieve and believe what YOU feel to be true.


  2. Rebecca, I hated that phrase also. It's "God's Plan". You have every right to be angry. You do not deserve this pain. No one should have to live beyond their children. One sliver of light may be to know that your future children will have their big sister watching over them. God bless!

  3. It's only been 3 weeks and you continue to amaze me with your brave mettle in "surviving" this burdensome journey. I am so proud of you Rebecca(and Mike). Fuchsia